- "I've been thinking about Jyn and the rest of Rogue One. How many things went wrong for them? And Rogue One took whatever steps they needed. People making distractions, sacrificing themselves, amping up the signal. All improvised. This chain of sacrifice...all leading to me taking that shot."
- ―Luke Skywalker, on Rogue One
Rogue One was the improvised callsign used by a large squad of Rebel Alliance soldiers and recruits that participated in a mission to steal the plans of the Death Star, a moon-sized battle station constructed by the Galactic Empire that could destroy an entire planet. Though the squad succeeded in its mission, none of the team survived; those who didn't die in the resulting Battle of Scarif during their attempt to steal the plans perished when the Empire destroyed the base on Scarif with the Death Star's superlaser. Rogue Squadron, an Alliance starfighter squadron led by Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles, was named in honor of Rogue One.
- "Rogue One? There is no Rogue One!"
"Well there is now."
- ―A Rebel technician and K-2SO
The group was started when Captain Cassian Andor was tasked with taking Jyn Erso, daughter of Galen Erso, to Jedha in order to get information from Saw Gerrera. The two were accompanied by the reprogrammed Imperial KX-series security droid K-2SO. After assisting in an attack on an Imperial patrol in the city, conducted by Gerrera's rebel cell, the Partisans, they met Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus, both Guardians of the Whills. While K-2SO returned to the Captain's ship, the other four were captured by members of Gerrera's cell. After Jyn learned of her father's plan through a holo recording sent with a defected Imperial pilot, Governor Tarkin ordered a single reactor ignition strike on Jedha City. Andor brought the defector, Bodhi Rook, with them when the group escaped via the U-wing piloted by K-2SO. They managed to escape just before the city, and the temple, were obliterated by the Death Star.
The remainder of the group was formed from the Special Forces Tracker Group.After Jyn failed to convince the Alliance High Command to invade Scarif, she found that a small group of Rebels were willing to follow her to Scarif. They, along with the original six, officially became Rogue One when Rook identified them to the Rebel flight deck with the name.
Bodhi was able to use the codes he had as an Imperial pilot to gain access to the planet and pass the Shield Gate. The Rebels killed the inspection team that boarded their shuttle, and Jyn and Cassian took their uniforms to infiltrate the base along with K-2SO. While they infiltrated the base, other members of Rogue One, under the command of Ruescott Melshi and Pao, covertly moved around the island, planting explosives. Cassian gave the signal and the explosives were set off, luring troopers away from the base while Cassian, Jyn, and K-2SO progressed further into the facility.
When Admiral Raddus and his fleet arrived, the Shield Gate was closed, allowing only seven T-65 X-wings and one U-wing belonging to Blue Squadron to make it through to the atmosphere. Blue Leader, General Antoc Merrick, led the air battle on Scarif, and Laren Joma provided Rogue One with reinforcements from her U-wing. With the Shield Gate closed, no large data files, like the Death Star plans, could be sent. Many members of Rogue One perished on the beach, but Îmwe was able to activate a communication switch before being killed by an explosion. Bodhi was able to use the radio on his ship to inform Raddus that the Shield Gate needed to be destroyed in order for the Death Star plans to be transmitted. After the message was sent, a grenade was thrown into the ship, killing Bodhi. Malbus proceeded to slaughter as many of Krennic's death troopers as possible, before a grenade carried by one of them resulted in his death.
Meanwhile, in the base, Cassian, Jyn, and K-2SO made it to the data vault, and Jyn and Cassian went to search for the Death Star plans while K-2SO guarded the entrance and searched the database. They found the plans under the name "Stardust," but K-2SO was overwhelmed by troopers and destroyed the console, to protect his friends before permanently shutting down. Jyn and Cassian climbed the archives and retrieved the data file, but Cassian was injured by Krennic and fell, leaving Jyn to climb to the satellite dish alone. After Jyn reset the dish, Krennic tried to stop her from transmitting the plans, but he was shot by an injured Cassian, who had followed him up. Jyn transmitted the plans to the Alliance, who had, by this time, destroyed the planetary shield with the help of two Imperial I-class Star Destroyers and a Sphyrna-class Hammerhead corvette named the Lightmaker, piloted by Captain Kado Oquoné of the Rebel Alliance. Jyn and Cassian made their way to the shore, where they saw the blast from the Death Star. Confident that the Rebels received the plans, the two embraced as the explosion consumed them, and the rest of the base. No members of Rogue One survived the blast.
- "Those who were good enough to disobey orders to do the right thing went and died. Those who didn't go are still here."
- ―Ubin Des
Because of the efforts of Rogue One, the Death Star plans would eventually make it into the hands of the Rebel Alliance. This information would later provide the means in destroying the Imperial battle station.
Ubin Des, who was unable to leave for Scarif having been confined to sick bay at the time much to her regret, admired the heroism of Rogue One. Luke Skywalker, who joined the Rebel Alliance soon after, was told little about their mission and got the feeling that Rebel commanders seemed embarrassed by it, which Des took as a measure of their shame that they could not make the gambit taken by Rogue One. During the Alliance mission to the remains of Jedha, Des told Skywalker that Erso had led the Rogue One mission.
Sometime later, the Alliance was ambushed at their base at the Mako-Ta Space Docks. In order to give his starfighter group a callsign, Skywalker named it Rogue Squadron in honor of Rogue One and its sacrifice. Skywalker served as Rogue Leader and decided the next pilot should not go by "Rogue One," wanting that callsign to be retired with honors for all Erso and her team had done. Thus, the next pilot was known by the designation of Rogue Two. Zev Senesca was honored to hold this callsign, using it as a way to tell people about Erso's actions. Rogue Squadron notably fought in the Battle of Hoth during the Alliance's evacuation from Echo Base.
Behind the scenes
The Rogue One squad was created and developed for the 2016 film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The first photo of the squad was released on August 15, 2015, and the first footage of the squad was shown in the Rogue One teaser trailer on April 7, 2016.
The makeup of the squad from the earliest 2013 story draft by John Knoll was generally different. Jyn Erso and K-2SO would have still been in it, but would have instead been joined by a human female Rebel pilot named Ria Talla; soldiers Dray Nevis and Jerris Kestal; aliens Lunak and Senna (the latter of whom would become Moroff); and Krennic, who would actually have been an Imperial spy reporting to an Imperial Security Bureau officer named Willix Cree.
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story novelization
- "The Heroes of Rogue One" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- This event takes place during Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the events of Rogue One in 0 BBY.
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars 39
- Star Wars 52
- "Rogue Two"—From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story