SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which is in theaters now.
As the first anthology Star Wars film, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” establishes new territory in the 40-year-old franchise. Set outside of the series’ main Skywalker family saga, “Rogue One” dives deep into the inner workings of the Rebellion and the Empire. We meet dozens of new heroes and villains and travel to exotic new planets along the way.
“Star Wars” fans know that the franchise hates leaving corners of its universe unexplored. Whatever the films don’t touch is usually claimed by novels, cartoons, video games and comics. Marvel’s comics line has already explored the universe in the wake of “A New Hope,” and now thanks to “Rogue One,” the publisher could do the same for the period of time before as well. Here are 15 titles — in no particular order — that Marvel could easily launch to keep “Rogue One” flying.
15. Jyn Erso
This one’s a no-brainer. As the film’s lead, we already see a large swath of Jyn Erso’s life. We see her as a child, when she’s forced into hiding following the Imperial abduction of her weapons-making father — and then we catch up with her decades later. The adult Jyn is street tough, wise and battle-hardened. She’s capable of surviving on her own, having learned a thing or three from the Rebel extremist Saw Gerrera.
Aside from a few stray lines, though, we know nothing about Jyn’s teenage years or the time she spent on her own as a young adult. What was her training with Gerrera like? How did she cope with him suddenly leaving her behind? And how did she end up in an Imperial labor camp, which is where we first meet her? These are all questions begging to be answered in a “Jyn Erso” series from Marvel.
14. Saw Gerrera and The Partisans
Saw Gerrera’s a character we’ve already seen in two mediums so far; he debuted in season five of the “Star Wars: Clone Wars” animated series and he made his live action debut in “Rogue One.” Still, a lot went down with this guy in the decades in-between his animated beginning and big screen ending. How did he come to acquire all those cybernetic limbs, and what led him to need to use an oxygen mask?
Gerrera’s extremist trajectory would best be explored in a team book, one that co-starred the ragtag Partisans that worked with him on Jedha. Expanded universe materials describe the strikes the Partisans made against the Empire as extreme, so extreme that the Rebellion later disavowed them. It’d be riveting to see Gerrera and his squad at the height of their insurgency, and we’d also appreciate more time with the aggressive Tognath pilots, Edrio and Benthic, following their roles in “Rogue One.”
13. Captain Andor
Diego Luna’s Rebel captain may look like a stand up guy. He’s relatively clean cut (for a world-weary Rebel soldier) and commands respect from his fellow soldiers. However, we learn right away in “Rogue One” that Andor’s a lot darker than he looks. This guy isn’t afraid to kill anyone that gets in the way of the greater good, even if they’re nominally allies like the members of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans.
We also learn that Cassian Andor has been fighting in the Rebellion since he was just six years old. It’d be fascinating to see what would lead a six-year-old to get wrapped up in galactic affairs, especially if that includes more information on his family. Odds are Andor has seen — and done — some truly harrowing stuff in his decades of service. A series focusing on the events that forged Andor into his by-any-means-necessary self would be a welcome addition to the “Star Wars” comic line.
12. Guardians of the Whills
While on Jedha, the Jedi’s holy planet, we learn more about the history of the Jedi faith. We meet two former temple guards, Baze Malbus and Chirrut Imwe, and learn that they were once members of the Guardians of the Whills. That’s a great name for a series, and a Malbus and Imwe buddy book could explore new aspects of the Jedi mythology.
The word “whills” is a loaded one when it comes to Star Wars. It dates back all the way to George Lucas’ early “Star Wars” drafts and was originally the name of a creature that was narrating the film’s events. The word’s inclusion in “Rogue One” is a great nod to the franchise’s history. “Guardians of the Whills” could also explore the time in-between “Revenge of the Sith” and “Rogue One,” an era that saw the Jedi fall and erased from history. How the Empire accomplished that feat remains a mystery — one this book could solve.
11. Rogue One: A Star Wars Adaptation
Star Wars movies and comic adaptations go hand-in-hand, and have ever since Marvel adapted the very first “Star Wars” film. This one seems like an obvious choice, especially since Marvel just wrapped up its limited series adapting “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” While this might not seem that interesting at first, there’s a great reason for a “Rogue One” adaptation to exist.
The movie’s entire cast dies. We see the entirety of this team’s time together. A “Rogue One” comic adaptation could pull that off and adapt the film while also fleshing out the characters and relationships that we only got to spend a few hours with in the film. What stories did they swap during their brief time together? Did Bodhi ever talk to Jyn about her father? Did Baze Malbus interact with K-2SO at all? These are side moments that we’ll never see on screen (unless they’re in a deleted scene), but could see in a comic.
10. Rogue One: Draft One
It’s not news that “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” underwent reshoots. The extent of the reshoots bounced back and forth as some claimed they were minor while other rumors claimed they were costing millions. It’s not so clear what was added in later when watching the film, but we do know there’s another version of the story out there somewhere.
We know that because there are a few trailer scenes not in the movie — like Jyn Erso confronting a TIE fighter or outrunning AT-AT fire with the Death Star plans clipped to her belt. What changed in-between drafts? Was there more to the story than what we saw? This idea seems highly unlikely, but turning the first draft into a comic (similar to what Dark Horse did for the first draft of George Lucas’ “The Star Wars” screenplay) would make for fascinating reading, especially when compared with what ended up in the film.
Some of the characters in “Rogue One” already have some expanded universe material featuring them, although not in the form of a comic. The novel “Catalyst” by James Luceno dives deep into the history between Director Orson Krennic, Galen Erso and his family. We see a brief bit of that history in one of Jyn’s dreams midway through the movie, as Krennic and Jyn’s parents pal around at a friendly and intimate gathering. But those nice feelings evaporated at one point; the film starts with a flashback depicting Krennic forcefully recruiting Galen back into the Empire to complete work on the Death Star.
Marvel has yet to adapt any of the Star Wars novels into comics, but they could easily start with “Catalyst” and help flesh out the backstory between “Rogue One’s” new villain and Galen Erso. A comic based on “Catalyst” could also broaden the novel’s scope and show what the rest of the “Rogue One” cast was up to at the same time.
Alan Tudyk’s reprogrammed Imperial security droid is the real scene-stealer of “Rogue One.” As a result of the reprogramming, Kaytoo has even less of a filter than other droids (including C-3PO) and says “whatever comes to his circuits.” Kaytoo’s blunt delivery and relentless interest in the odds of surviving dangerous missions gives him plenty of fantastic one-liners throughout the film. Surprisingly, it’s the Imperial murder-bot that serves as the film’s comic relief.
Kaytoo could also make for a fine lead character, as his status as a reprogrammed Imperial droid could provide for some intriguing storylines — particularly if the series wanted to explore the question of whether or not droids have real consciousness. That’s territory usually claimed by “Star Trek,” but it would be fascinating to see if Kaytoo has any real thoughts on being switched over to the Rebellion, or if he has any Imperial inklings left within him. A series focusing on Kaytoo’s transition into the Rebel ranks would reveal more about how artificial intelligence works in the Star Wars universe.
7. Yavin 4
As home to the Rebel base, Yavin 4 played a big role in both “Rogue One” and “A New Hope.” The Massassi, a long extinct species that was once enslaved by the ancient Sith, built the very temple that housed the Rebellion in both films — but we don’t know their story in the new expanded universe. Is it similar to what was established in the now non-canonical Dark Horse comics, or would Marvel take the legend of the Massassi in a new direction?
To bring “Yavin 4” closer to the present, it’d also be interesting to see a series based on the Rebellion’s earliest days in the Massassi temple. How did they find Yavin 4, and how did they settle into this particular temple? The Rebel headquarters is also home to a number of characters just dying to be used more, like Mon Mothma and General Jan Dodonna. Marvel should make them the leads of a “Yavin 4” series and tackle both the past and present of the mysterious planet.
6. Tales from Jedha
Like the Mos Eisley cantina, Jabba’s palace and Maz Kanata’s outpost, the streets of Jedha in “Rogue One” were packed with aliens, creatures and characters that could easily fill the pages of an anthology series. Just focusing on Chirrut Imwe, Baze Malbus, Saw Gerrera and his Partisans alone would be enough to fill issue after issue of a “Tales from Jedha” series.
Taking a step back, the planet itself and its potentially rich history is also worth examining in a series. For one thing, this is the spiritual home of the Jedi. What does that mean, and what caused those massive Jedi statues to fall over? The planet’s also home to kyber crystals, the natural resource that both powers lightsabers and the Death Star. You could easily fill a series with just stories of Jedi, Sith and Force users hunting for kyber crystals to build their weapons. In the “Rogue One” era, tales from average citizens dealing with Imperial occupation would also shed new light on the Empire’s regime.
5. Imperial Defection
Bodhi Rook started out a lowly cargo pilot for the Empire and ended up one of the members of the titular Rogue One crew — and one of the hidden figures behind the Rebellion’s massive success. A comic focusing on his rise would give readers a better idea of what day-to-day life is like in the Empire — and could also help set the stakes for Bodhi’s decision to defect.
Truthfully, there’s a whole movie in Bodhi signing up with the Empire, becoming disillusioned and seeking a way out, only to come into contact with Galen Erso. Think of all the intrigue! How did Galen know Bodhi was his guy, and who all did Bodhi leave behind — either at home or in the Empire — when he made his choice? Was defecting a hard choice? “Rogue One” shows us the fallout of arguably the biggest decision of Bodhi’s life. Let’s see him make that decision in a comic series.
4. Rebel Squadron
Dark Horse’s “Rogue Squadron” and Marvel’s current “Poe Dameron” series prove that you’re never going to go wrong with a comic about pilots. Rebel pilots are among the bravest and cockiest members of the Rebellion. After all, when you’re piloting a one-man starfighter with limited shields against the deadly Empire, you either come out victorious or you explode. There’s really no room for error in space dogfights.
“Rogue One” features plenty of pilots — including two that diehard fans will recognize from “A New Hope.” Both Red Leader Garven Dreis and Gold Leader Dutch Vander return to fly another mission in “Rogue One” by way of reused footage from “A New Hope.” Considering that both Dreis and Vander die in the trench run assault on the Death Star, Marvel would have to put them in a “Rogue One” prequel comic to get more out of them. These two, and the pilots that flew with them above Scarif, are worth seeing more of, and “Rebel Squadron” would do that.
Through its use of a CG Grand Moff Tarkin, “Rogue One” reminds viewers just how imposing a figure Peter Cushing’s Imperial really was. Fans only got to see him in “A New Hope” as his own hubris prevented him from evacuating the Death Star in his “moment of triumph.” That “triumph” exploded in his face, literally, and the Empire was down one major villain. “Rogue One” gives fans more Tarkin, and that’s never a bad thing.
Tarkin’s already been the star of his own novel set in the new expanded universe and he’s also appeared in a few episodes of “Star Wars Rebels.” The guy could still check off “comic book series” from his list, though, with a new series focusing on his rise to power. We also want to see more of Tarkin’s political maneuvering, particularly if it explores his fraught relationship with Director Krennic. Those two do not get along in “Rogue One,” and it’d be great to see where that bad blood was first spilled.
Princess Leia’s already had one limited series published by Marvel, but that one focused on the period of time after “A New Hope.” “Organa,” on the other hand, could star both Leia and her adoptive father Bail — specifically the series of events that lead up to “Rogue One.” In the film, we see Bail on Yavin 4 as he takes part in a few key decision-making scenes. What led him to Yavin 4, and how did he balance his life as a senator with his secret involvement in the underground Rebellion?
Additionally, “Organa” could show what Princess Leia was up to during the time surrounding “Rogue One.” We now know that her ship, the Tantive IV, was present during the battle above Scarif, meaning Leia was around for a truly harrowing firefight with the Empire. What was she doing during that battle, and how did she react when her father told her to go recruit an old space wizard from a desert planet? Bail and Leia’s story as a father and daughter team of Rebel insurgents is begging to be told.
1. Rogue One: Legacy
As you know by now, “Rogue One” ends with the death of the entire main cast. Not only do most of them die during battle, but their remains are completely nuked by a blast from the Death Star that totally annihilates the Imperial outpost on Scarif. There is no sequel for this cast, no further adventures to be had. On top of that, it’s likely that the Rebellion isn’t entirely sure exactly who did what when it comes to how they got the Rebel plans. All they know is that a random ship with the unofficial callsign “Rogue One” played an instrumental part in their victory. They presumably named Rogue Squadron, which flew in “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” after Rogue One.
What if Rogue One’s story didn’t end there, though? What if one of them — Cassian, Baze, Chirrut — had a child demanding answers about their parent’s death? Or what if someone within the Rebellion — or Empire — discovered the identities of the members of Rogue One and that knowledge spurred them into action? While the main characters from “Rogue One” are no more, it’d be worth reading if Marvel could find a way to establish and examine their larger legacy.
What comics would you like to see spin out of “Rogue One”? Let us know in the comments!
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