‘Rogue One’: Why the Cryptic Title Was Perfect for the First Standalone ‘Star Wars’ Movie

by Jeremy Spirogis
The cast and crew of

Rogue One nearly had a a lot much less intriguing title, followers simply discovered.

When Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, the announcement of a brand new Star Wars trilogy wasn’t what most stunned followers. After all, the “galaxy far, far away” is synonymous with three-film storytelling. In addition, Disney introduced standalone adventures for the alternating years between trilogy installments. The first of those lastly hit theaters in December 2016.

In the top, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story earned greater than $1 billion on the worldwide field workplace. Strangely, the “Star Wars story” model solely sustained yet another launch: 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. Fans won’t know when or if different standalone adventures will come collectively. In reality, Rogue One itself nearly wound up with a really totally different title.

The cast and crew of 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' at the premiere
The solid and crew of ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ on the premiere | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ took the saga in a dramatic new path

Gareth Edwards’ movie is not any stranger to behind-the-scenes drama. Rogue One famously skilled important reshoots throughout manufacturing. And Michael Clayton director Tony Gilroy — who retains a screenwriting credit score — got here in to exchange Edwards throughout post-production. Besides the behind-the-scenes drama, Rogue One already marked step one right into a courageous new world.

Although the movie does characteristic small however important roles for Darth Vader and Princess Leia, it’s the primary Star Wars film not centered on the Skywalker household. More than an area opera, Edwards shoots for a down-and-dirty battle movie. Characters like Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) are as morally complicated as they arrive.

And for a franchise the place followers can actually inform the heroes from villains based mostly on the colour of their lightsabers, this marked a daring inventive determination on Disney’s half. Plus, there’s the movie’s tragic climax, underscoring the sacrifice mandatory for Luke Skywalker to ultimately destroy the Death Star. In some respects, Rogue One stays essentially the most distinct Star Wars movie of all.

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How the writers approached developing with a reputation for ‘Rogue One’

Given the movie took Star Wars down a brand new path, the writers of Rogue One hoped to offer the movie a title to replicate that. In a current version of IGN’s WFH Theater, writers Chris Weitz and Gary Whitta offered a commentary on Rogue One. And within the course of, they provided followers a peek behind the scenes of the film’s growth, together with its identify.

According to Whitta, the inventive workforce was consciously decided to offer Rogue One a really totally different really feel from the earlier entries within the Star Wars saga.

At one level, John Swartz, who was one of many inventive executives on the movie had a listing and all of us sort of voted on those that we preferred … One of the issues that occurred to me, I went again and seemed to all of the earlier movies, and this continues to be true even with the sequel trilogy now being accomplished, the titles of Star Wars saga movies are at all times both three phrases or 4 phrases lengthy. They simply all are. So it occurred to me that one of many methods we might differentiate this film from the remainder is we had a title that was just one phrase or two phrases lengthy.

Much just like the movie itself, Rogue One is rather more direct and blunter than the extra fantastical titles of the opposite movies. Fans too have famous the way it nonetheless maintains the collection’ trademark of titles with shifting interpretations. In the movie, Rogue One is the rebels’ name signal, nevertheless it additionally pertains to Jyn Erso herself.

Other titles have been thought of, however this one most closely fits the ‘Star Wars’ movie

Rogue One could have all the weather the writers have been searching for. But they weren’t instructed about which title was chosen till after the actual fact. Whitta instructed IGN he didn’t know the film can be known as Rogue One — a title he got here up with — till Disney CEO Bob Iger introduced it at a shareholder’s convention.

During their current IGN dwell stream, Whitta and Weitz additionally revealed alternate titles for Rogue One. Whitta talked about Star Wars: Rebellion and Shadow of the Death Star as prospects. But the previous is just too broad and too much like the animated collection Star Wars: Rebels. Meanwhile, the latter calls to thoughts the non-canon novel Shadows of the Empire.

And Weitz instructed followers one other of the early titles was Dark Times. The intention there was clearly to dovetail off of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s (Alec Guinness) point out of how issues have been “before the dark times, before the Empire.” Yet, once more, this title feels too non-specific and doesn’t fully match. Like A New Hope, Rogue One begins with the galaxy underneath Imperial management.

Ultimately, Lucasfilm and Disney made the proper alternative for Rogue One. The identify calls to thoughts the navy facet of the movie and immediately units it other than the remainder of the saga. Despite the temptation to go extra on-the-nose with its title, the success of Rogue One speaks for itself.

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