Star Wars: Rogue One Writer Reminds Fans Why Shorter Title Was Selected

The announcement that the first spinoff for the Star Wars franchise would be "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" immediately sparked some familiar feelings for Star Wars fans, having known about Rogue Squadron from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, with writer Gary Whitta taking to Twitter to show off some of the earlier pitches he had for the film's title, noting that he wanted a shorter name to set itself apart from entries in the Skywalker Saga. Up to that point, all of the titles were three or four words, so, in addition to the "Star Wars Story" moniker, this two-word title kept things straight and to the point.

In addition to Rogue One, Whitta also pitched Lucasfilm on using either "Rebellion" or "Shadow of the Death Star."

"Digging through old stuff, found the email where I submitted the title ROGUE ONE to Lucasfilm, along with some other suggestions. Still think they made the wrong choice, 'THE RISE OF WHITTA' has such an epic ring to it. Fun fact: ROGUE ONE was a last-minute addition to the list!" Whitta tweeted. "One argument I made in favor of ROGUE ONE as a title was that all the saga films have titles that are three or four words long (true for all nine eventually), so a title comprised of only one or two words would help differentiate the first standalone movie. I think it helped?"

When the film was first announced, audiences only knew that the project wouldn't rely on connections to well-known characters, but with Rogue Squadron first being introduced in 1980's The Empire Strikes Back, speculation ignited about how the spinoff would connect to that sequel. While direct connections weren't drawn in that film, it would be the Star Wars comic from Marvel that would ultimately connect the concepts.

In Rogue One, the group of Rebels who stole the Death Star plans from the Empire used the impromptu callsign "Rogue One," with the events of the Star Wars comic depicting Luke Skywalker's quest into the history of the Rebellion, ultimately learning of the sacrifice made by these heroes. Shortly before the events of The Empire Strikes Back, Luke and his fellow Rebels had to quickly band together to take on the Empire, resulting in the embrace of the "Rogue Squadron" moniker, which the pilots continued to use on Hoth.


The popularity of the concept has grown so strong that Patty Jenkins is developing the new film Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.

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