As the release date for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story grows near excitement for the new installment of the franchise set in a “galaxy far far away” is at an all-time high.
If you’re like me, the moment Rogue One was announced via that grainy footage of the Death Star, you were already counting down the days until it hit theaters.
The importance of Rogue One, however, goes far beyond entertainment value and even profit margins, as the ultimate success or failure of this movie could have a major impact on the future of the Star Wars franchise and, more specifically, the potential for a Marvel-esque Star Wars Cinematic Universe.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be the first Star Wars movie set “outside” of the original episodic arc, as it occurs during the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. This movie is not Star Wars: Episode 3.5 or anything ridiculous like that. This is a spin-off movie about the plight of the Rebellion leading up to the events of A New Hope. It features main, never before seen characters who interact with some of our favorites from the past like Mon Mothma and Darth Vader.
Basically, it’s highly profitable fanfiction that we’re all going to buy tickets to see four or five times.
All jokes aside, however, Rogue One opens the door for something that many of us never thought we would see when George Lucas announced that there would be no more movies after Revenge of the Sith – a cinematic universe of Star Wars movies and TV shows.
With a Boba Fett movie reportedly already in the works, the potential for these types of MCU-esque standalone movies and spin-offs has those of us who love the franchise desperate for more of everything Star Wars as quickly as possible.
If Rogue One is average, we can expect to see more episodic movies and fewer spin-offs. If this movie is great, however, we can expect to see a massive influx of Star Wars media the likes of which we have not seen since the days of the Expanded Universe – whoops, I mean “Legends” – with the added bonus of a funds juggernaut like Disney holding the purse strings.
So, please, Rogue One, be really, really good. You’re our only hope.