Star Wars: Rogue One Writer Addresses Empire Strikes Back Callsign Conundrum

When Star Wars fans learned that the first spinoff in the franchise would be titled "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," some fans immediately assumed that the film would somehow connect to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, with co-writer Gary Whitta pointing out that he never intended for that film's title to connect to the callsign of a snowspeeder pilot on Hoth. While Rogue One found a number of clever ways to expand on the world of the franchise as we knew it, one of the seemingly conflicting pieces of information was the repetition of the heroic callsign, though Whitta notes his own personal canon doesn't feature the paradox.

In the spinoff film, when a group of Rebels steals a ship to sabotage the Galactic Empire, they offer up the impromptu "Rogue One" callsign when asked to reveal their identity. In Empire Strikes Back, the Rebel squadron of snowspeeders were known as the "Rogue Squadron," which would presumably would make a pilot's callsign "Rogue One," despite the film instead using the callsign "Rogue Leader."

"I still like my idea (not canonized) that there is no Rogue One callsign in EMPIRE (or the OT in general) because the Rebellion retired it after the Battle of Scarif out of respect for those who died on that mission," Whitta shared on Twitter. "It goes straight from Rogue Leader to Rogue Two."

Whitta's notion that the Rebels would honor the sacrifices of the characters from Rogue One is also somewhat backed up by an issue of Marvel Comics' Star Wars series.

In issue #52 of that series, Luke Skywalker and his fellow Rebels find themselves under attack before the events of Empire Strikes Back, forcing them to become an impromptu squadron. With Skywalker taking the lead of the pilots, the ragtag squadron requires a name to communicate with one another, resulting in Luke thinking of the actions of Jyn Erso and her fellow Rebels to name themselves "Rogue Squadron," a name which the pilots continued after their arrival on Hoth.


A Rogue One: A Star Wars Story prequel series is currently being developed for Disney+.

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