If there is one franchise on par with the DC Cinematic Universe when it comes to pushing movies on their release schedules or just removing them entirely it is Star Wars. One of the upcoming Star Wars films has been completely removed from Disney’s release calendar — Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, which was set to be helmed by Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. Of course, films get shuffled around all the time, so it is worth unpacking and speculating exactly why Star Wars: Rogue Squadron was removed from Disney’s lineup.
Why was Star Wars: Rogue Squadron completely removed from Disney’s release calendar?
Back in November of 2021, it was rumored that Star Wars: Rogue Squadron had been delayed indefinitely, with further speculation that the delay was due to creative differences between Patty Jenkins and the team running the current Star Wars films. Now that has not actually been confirmed, but the film being removed from Disney’s slate is not a very good sign. The film was originally scheduled for a 2023 release.
Patty Jenkins could be busy with other projects and that could be why the film was pulled from the release schedule. However, the only other film announced that she could be working on is Wonder Woman 3. She was attached to direct Cleopatra with Gal Gadot, but she pulled out of directing that movie to focus on Wonder Woman 3 and Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. She could just be busy in the DC Universe or have multiple other unannounced projects in production.
However, it could have to do with the success of Jenkins’ last film, Wonder Woman 1984. The film currently has a 58% on Rotten Tomatoes and was not received well by critics, faring slightly better with audiences. The film also did not earn enough at the box office to break even, earning $169.6 million against a $200 million budget but this was mostly due to the film releasing during the COVID-19 pandemic. So its monetary failure might not cause trepidation on the part of Disney, but it might very well be part of the reason.
On the other hand, the problem might lie with Disney themselves; after all, this is not the only time a Star Wars movie has been pushed back or completely pulled from the schedule. While Taika Waititi’s Star Wars films are apparently still bouncing around, Rian Johnson’s films have been delayed while he works on the sequels to Knives Out. It really does seem that auteurs are prioritizing their own projects instead of playing in the Star Wars sandpits, and that might point to a problem in either the creative team running Star Wars at Disney.
Despite that, their Disney Plus shows are coming at an incredible speed with Obi-Wan Kenobi earlier in 2022, and Andor coming up later in September. The next Star Wars movie is slated to release on Dec. 19, 2025, which may very well be Taika Waititi’s project. So maybe it does just come down to creative folks wanting to express their own creativity before making a Star Wars project, and Patty Jenkins is just busy with Wonder Woman 3.
Andor is coming to Disney Plus on Sept. 21, 2022.