SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Star Wars #52, by Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca, Guru-eFX and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
After Red Squadron – the Rebel Alliance starfighter squadron that led the assault on the Death Star in A New Hope – was all but destroyed, the group’s two surviving members, Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles, formed a new faction: Rogue Squadron.
First seen during the Battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back (as Rogue Group), Rogue Squadron would eventually go on to headline a number of multimedia titles in the now-defunct Expanded Universe, from video games to comics to the widely popular Star Wars: X-Wing novel series by Michael A. Stackpole and Aaron Allston.
However, while Rogue Squadron has yet to be featured prominently in non-Legends continuity, the infamous group finally receives a proper, canonical origin story in Marvel’s Star Wars #52.
When the Galactic Empire launches an attack on the Mako-Ta Space Docks, Luke is forced to watch as his friend Han Solo desperately tries to outmaneuver Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter. The tides soon turn, though, when Luke discovers Queen Trios’ attempt to sabotage the Rebel’s cruiser didn’t disable the ship’s hangar bay door fail-safes. As such, he and his fellow pilots aren’t, in fact, trapped aboard the cruiser but rather free to take to the icy-cold vacuum of space and fight back against the Empire.
“Well, I guess this is what Jyn Erso felt like,” Luke says as he speeds toward the hangar bay door in his X-Wing just moments before it bursts open. He’s not alone, though, as Wedge and the rest of the X-Wing pilots are right behind him.
“So, flight leader,” says Wedge. “What’s our call sign?”
“You know Wedge,” Luke replies, “If we’re acting like Jyn Erso, I have to disagree. It is time for sentiment.”
Then, as the small group of X-Wings prepares to take on the massive Imperial fleet head-on, Luke shouts, “Rogue Squadron, form up.”
As evidenced by Luke’s allusion to Jyn Erso, Rogue Squadron is clearly an homage to Rogue One’s eponymous band of Rebels who gave their lives to steal the Death Star plans from the Citadel Tower on Scarif. Not only does this help cement the 2016 film even further into current Star Wars canon but it also helps cement the fact that Jyn, Cassian Andor and company didn’t die as nobodies; they were heroes whose names were held in the highest of regards among the members of the Rebel Alliance.