What began as a rumor has since been partially confirmed - Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins' Star Wars: Rogue Squadron movie, originally set to start filming in 2022 with a 2023 premiere, has been indefinitely shelved due to the director's busy schedule. Meanwhile, rumors of an Old Republic movie taking its place are mounting.
This news comes from the collision of multiple rumors floating around Disney's plans for the Star Wars franchise. Very vague but official plans for an Old Republic film have been known for years now, with Laeta Kalogridis planned as a writer, and Disney has been rumored to return to a yearly release schedule for Star Wars movies. Some sort of film from the franchise being released in 2023 is seemingly set in stone, but with Rogue Squadron's indefinite delay, the question is what kind of Star Wars film will we see that year?
This is where another intersection of rumors come in - there's been a lot of buzz regarding canon Old Republic era content coming to Star Wars for a while now. Granted, a lot of it amounts to wishful thinking - aside of the movie eras, the Old Republic consistently remains the main fan-favorite era of Star Wars media, with enthusiasts always eager for more. Heck, Darth Revan has achieved cult status comparable to main characters from the films - the fandom has already "fan-cast" Keanu Reeves as the ideal hypothetical on-screen Revan.
Rumblings reported by industry insiders on Twitter indicate that the long-planned Old Republic movie, the flames of which Disney fanned years ago, is being fast-tracked as the 2023 replacement for Rogue Squadron. As far as rumors have it, it will be an original story instead of an adaptation of existing Old Republic content - this checks out, since all of that is Legends right now - and part of a multimedia push including tie-ins and spin-offs.
— Jordan Maison (@JordanMaison) November 5, 2021
Fans have been curious about details regarding the Old Republic era of the Disney canon, since the biggest bits of media regarding this time were part of the old expanded universe - games like KotOR, comics and books all fall under the Legends label, including the still running MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic. However, ever since The Rise of Skywalker Visual Encyclopedia name-dropped Darth Revan, canonizing the name - if not the character - interest has spiked.
Between Aspyr's upcoming Knights of the Old Republic remake, the canonization of Revan, rumors surrounding Old Republic content and a nebulous "big thing" that SWTOR keeps working toward, according to developers, have led to members of the community suspect that Disney will retroactively make a lot of pre-existing content canon again, and a new movie referring to these characters and events outright would cement that.
There's a #StarWars film planning to shoot next year. It's not Taika's film, Feige's film or Rouge Squadron...
— BSL (@bigscreenleaks) November 5, 2021
BioWare has recently released two of SWTOR's original cinematic trailers in 4K remastered form, heralding the year-long 10th anniversary celebrations of the MMO. Enjoying renewed popularity following Onslaught and a Steam release, the decade-old game is getting another expansion this holiday season and very likely caught the eyes of Disney executives. BioWare has been hyping up major developments in the near future of the game, but the quantity of content in Legacy of the Sith hardly seems to cover it, which is why some fans theorize that it's about the title's canon status instead.
Disney has already had its own swing at telling stories that predate the prequels - the High Republic era is currently being explored in comics and books from a number of publishers and aimed at various age groups. An upcoming Disney+ exclusive series called Star Wars: The Acolyte is also set during the High Republic era. While there are similarities, the Old Republic and High Republic are distinct both in tone, aesthetic and in-universe chronology.
While most of these reports currently amount to hearsay and deduction, Rogue Squadron's indefinite delay is an official fact - one that has made the near future of the Star Wars movies uncertain for the first time in years. We know something is coming in 2023, and the only rumors to go on for now point to the Old Republic era. Our fingers are definitely crossed!