Okay, before we go any further, it’s worth making this absolutely clear: this article contains massive spoilers regarding the entirety of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, most specifically its climactic ending.
Spoilers start now. You’ve been warned.
Anyone who’s seen Rogue One will know that it’s not an easy movie to follow on from. With the entirety of Jyn Erso’s team of plucky rebels ending up deep fried by the Death Star’s massive superlaser, there’s not many directions to go with a subsequent movie.
Nevertheless, considering that Felicity Jones has been contracted for multiple Star Wars movies, some fans have held out hope that, through some inventive storytelling, Lucasfilm may be planning to resurrect the character for a future Rogue Two. Rumors have bounced around among hardcore fans as those who fell in love with Jyn Erso found themselves unwilling to let her go.
Now, though, word has officially come from Lucasfilm. Rogue One will be getting a sequel, sort of. There are two big addendums that need to be made here.
Firstly, the new story is not going to be a feature length movie. Lucasfilm has been expanding its range of canonical novels set within the Disney Star Wars universe, and this new chapter in the saga will be a book written by Christie Golden. For those who hate reading, this might be a disappointment, but fans of previous Star Wars paperbacks will likely be pleased with this news.
Secondly, as the majority of the rebels from Rogue One became one with the Force in some dramatic ways, this book won’t focus on any of Jyn Erso’s teammates.
Instead, Inferno Squad will tell the story of an elite Imperial commando team as they scramble to perform damage control following the theft of the Death Star plans and break down a troublesome splinter cell of rebels.
Here’s a little from the book’s blurb:
“The Rebellion may have heroes like Jyn Erso and Luke Skywalker. But the Empire has Inferno Squad. After the humiliating theft of the Death Star plans and the resulting destruction of the battle station, the Empire is on the defensive. In response to this stunning defeat, the Imperial Navy has authorized the formation of an elite team of soldiers, known as Inferno Squad. Their mission: infiltrate and eliminate the remnants of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans. Following the death of their leader, the Partisans have carried on his extremist legacy, determined to thwart the Empire — no matter what the cost. Now, Inferno Squad must prove their status as the best of the best and take down the Partisans from within. But as the danger intensifies and the threat of discovery grows, how far will Inferno Squad go to ensure the safety of the Empire?”
Anyone who’s familiar with Star Wars novels will know that the right author, with the right subject matter, can use the lengthier storytelling options afforded by a printed book to tell a story that’s far more compelling, nuanced, and detailed than any of the relatively simple stories from the Star Wars movies.
What’s more, Star Wars authors are often given more freedom in books than they might receive in movies, meaning that they can explore themes that aren’t common in films – such as featuring the Empire as the protagonists, and framing rebels as terrorists.
While some may be disappointed that Inferno Squad will be a novel rather than a feature length movie, it’s worth giving the book a try. There’s every chance this prose story will be more compelling and intense than any big screen adventure.