Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has to be of the most popular Star Wars films in the Disney/Lucasfilm era. Reactions to The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker of the sequel trilogy in the Skywalker saga have been all over the place, though one could argue that the spin-off films have more of a strong following. Even if Solo: A Star Wars Story was the first box office flop in the Star Wars franchise, the film gained an audience on home media months later. However, Rogue One was a success from the start, with a very strong critical response, good worldwide box office results, and positive feelings from fans. But there were several other titles that were explored for Gareth Edwards' blockbuster.
Screenwriter Gary Whitta has recently revealed some alternate titles that he ended up suggesting to the production. Whatever the case, the titles would have been part of a much more traditional title structure in the very end. Check them out in the tweet below.
"Digging through old stuff, found the email where I submitted the title ROGUE ONE to Lucasfilm, along with some other suggestions. Still think they made the wrong choice, THE RISE OF WHITTA has such an epic ring to it. Fun fact: ROGUE ONE was a last-minute addition to the list!"
So it appears that Shadow of the Death Star was a title under consideration for the film. This is not the first time that such information regarding the title was revealed. During a Rogue One: A Star Wars Story watch-along at IGN in 2020, Whitta and co-writer Chris Weitz had trivia for fans, including more info on how the decision of a title came during the initial writing stages and during principal photography on the Gareth Edwards project. Weitz said:
“There was one point at which we were kicking around titles for this, right? Rogue One was a good choice eventually, but one of them was Dark Times."
That potential title was a reference to an Obi-Wan Kenobi line from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Whitta also discussed the thinking that eventually led them to Rogue One:
“We had a lot. At one point, John Swartz, who was one of the creative executives on the film had a list and we all kind of voted on the ones that we liked….One of the things that occurred to me, I went back and looked to all the previous films, and this continues to be true even with the sequel trilogy now being completed, the titles of Star Wars Saga films are always either three words or four words long. They just all are. So it occurred to me that one of the ways we could differentiate this movie from the rest is we had a title that was only one word or two words long. So like Star Wars: Rebellion, Star Wars: Rogue One, let’s do a title that’s shorter so that even from the title of the movie you know this is something that doesn’t necessarily conform to the unwritten rules of the Saga films.”
When Rogue One was ultimately chosen for the title, Whitta was just as surprised as the rest of the world. He recalled how he found out what the title of the film would be:
“When Bob Iger announced it at a shareholder’s conference, I went, ‘Oh, that’s my title.’ That’s how I found out.”
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is available on home media and Disney+.
Written By Andre Porter
Syndicated From Culture Slate