Today I want to talk about the upcoming Rogue Squadron movie. Scheduled for release in 2023 and helmed by Patty Jenkins. Patty Jenkins made herself a name with Wonder Woman in 2017, which was her first big budget movie (she only had a couple of TV credits before). The sequel to that movie, Wonder Woman 1984, was released a short while ago and let’s say the reception to the movie is very, very mixed. So some people may wonder if Star Wars fans need to be worried about Rogue Squadron. Click through for a discussion!
I don’t want to talk about Wonder Woman 1984 all that much. In my opinion the movie was abysmal. The first Wonder Woman movie by Jenkins was ok, it was better than most other DCEU movies, but it certainly didn’t deserve all the gushing praise heaped upon it. And even most positive reviews usually point out that the third act is not particularly strong. However, Patty Jenkins was only the director for the movie, according to the credits she was not involved with the story and writing.
But that changed with Wonder Woman 1984, Jenkins is not only the director this time, she also co-wrote the story and the screenplay and she is listed as a producer. Which basically means she had a lot of creative control over the movie, a lot more than over the first one.
And while opinions may differ, in my opinion, Wonder Woman 1984 is one of the worst superhero movies in recent memory and a huge step back for DC. The story is very problematic and even nonsensical at times, the few action scenes the movie has (there aren’t that many) are weak and the CGI is particularly lackluster. And what’s even more puzzling: the movie does virtually nothing with the 1980s setting. On top of that Wonder Woman 1984 goes the “The Rise of Skywalker” route in certain ways, Wonder Woman gains powers because the plots demands it, very similar to Rey in TROS, powers Wonder Woman no longer has or had in the other DC movies set 20+ years later. But let’s not talk about all the DCEU continuity problems the movie creates.
Let’s not talk about Wonder Woman 1984 all that much really… what I want to talk about is if Star Wars fans need to be worried about Patty Jenkins as the person in charge for Rogue Squadron. She proved to be ok as a director for Wonder Woman, but the much greater creative control she had over Wonder Woman 1984 apparently hasn’t done the movie any favors.
Of course each and every project is different. Rogue Squadron could be a masterpiece, but I do wonder if Lucasfilm has fallen into the same trap again they fell into several times before: hiring an up-and-coming director who turns out to be a bad fit for Star Wars.
If Wonder Woman 1984 is the best Jenkins can come up with when given so much creative control, then yes, I think we need to be worried about Rogue Squadron.
But the real question is: should Lucasfilm keep trying to find outside talent, up-and-coming directors who get to helm a Star Wars movie? It didn’t really work out all that well with Gareth Edwards, his movie needed fixing by Tony Gilroy, extensive fixing even. Rian Johnson, well, let’s say his movie is one of the most contentious Star Wars entries ever (but his qualifications as a director are undisputed), and let’s all spend a quick second to commemorate the countless hired and fired directors/writers who turned out to be not the right person after all.
Lucasfilm announced so many new streaming shows that they will need quite a few people who will write and direct episodes. And the question is: shouldn’t Lucasfilm use these Disney+ shows as a springboard for directors and writers who proved their talent and give them a movie project? Instead of hiring people like Patty Jenkins, Rian Johnson, or Gareth Edwards?
I can understand if Lucasfilm (or Disney) is hesitant to hand over a multimillion dollar movie to someone who has only directed tv / streaming before, but maybe it would be the much better route.
If Lucasfilm used their shows to give young and new talent a chance to prove themselves and if Lucasfilm then gave the most promising talents movie projects, I believe it would give fans much more confidence. With Patty Jenkins now I can see how people will be very concerned about her Rogue Squadron movie. Whereas I see few concerns online about Deborah Chow directing Kenobi after her great Mandalorian episode.
In my opinion Lucasfilm should no longer seek outside talent like Patty Jenkins to helm big budget movies. Instead give directors and writers a chance to prove themselves with any of the shows and then build a talent pool from that. This would guarantee that whoever gets chosen for a movie not only has experience with Star Wars and understands the universe, but it would also guarantee that the person already delivered some convincing work for Star Wars and Lucasfilm.
As I said earlier, Wonder Woman 1984’s failure (in my opinion it’s a colossal failure) does not necessarily mean Rogue Squadron will suffer from the same problems, weak story and weak action scenes, but it will certainly lead to debates among fans. Something that could be avoided if someone who worked on any of the shows gets a chance instead.
So where do you stand? Do you think Star Wars needs outside talent like Abrams, Johnson, Edwards or Jenkins? Or do you agree that Lucasfilm should use their various (upcoming) shows as a proving ground for directors and writers and and then hire someone from that talent pool to direct and/or write a big budget movie? That other franchise, Star Trek, fared pretty well when Jonathan Frakes was tasked with directing a Next Generation movie, it turned out to be the the best of the bunch.
-Click HERE to return to the home page-