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Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins to direct next Star Wars film, Rogue Squadron

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Disney drops a surprise during its big Investors Day

Star Wars: A New Hope - x-wings fly toward the Death Star Image: 20th Century Studios

There were new chapters in the Star Wars universe coming from a mile away — Disney Plus’ Rogue One prequel series, the Obi-Wan miniseries, the new Clone Wars show Bad Batch, and the rumored Boba Fett spinoff from The Mandalorian — but Lucasfilm loves a surprise, and the company had one for fans on Thursday at Disney’s 2020 Investors Day.

Patty Jenkins, whose next film, Wonder Woman 1984, will land in theaters and HBO Max on Dec. 25, will direct Rogue Squadron. You heard that correctly: The Rebel Alliance squadron founded by Luke Skywalker during the original saga timeline, carved out with plenty of EU over the years, will hit the big screen in a “future era of the galaxy,” according to Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy. The film is due at Christmas 2023.

Jenkins posted a video on Twitter explaining her desire to make “the greatest fighter pilot movie of all time,” saying that she hadn’t found the right project — until now.

The turbulent aftermath of The Rise of Skywalker in December 2019 left many Star Wars fans adrift. The J.J. Abrams-directed threequel ended the story of Rey, Finn, and Poe with fanfare, but critical reactions all seemed to agree it was more fan-service style than substance, leaving little confidence for what the theatrical side of Star Wars might cook up next.

Seasons 1 and 2 of The Mandalorian have swung the enthusiasm pendulum back in the other direction, as memes, Reddit chatter, merch sales, and Disney Plus subscriber numbers indicate. Now there are plans for more Star Wars than ever — albeit in a different form.