On December 16, 2016, the first standalone Star Wars film was released. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story told the tale of the people who valiantly stole the plans for the first Death Star—a tale that ended with all of them dying. Of course, most fans didn’t know that until the end of the movie, but it was a bold move in a bold movie that was almost universally loved by fans.
Today, on its five-year anniversary, we dug deep (and we do mean deep) into the io9 archives to take you back on our own Rogue One journey. We go back to the day we first heard it was happening, the first news about its title, the casting, the trailer, the controversy, the release, and more. Join us.
May 22, 2014: The day Rogue One was born, though we didn’t know it was called that yet. Lucasfilm announces that Gareth Edwards and Gary Whitta are working on a Star Wars spinoff film.
November 24, 2014: So what’s this movie about? Well I personally break the news that this movie is about stealing the Death Star plans. A few other details weren’t right—but hey, an accomplishment.
February 3, 2015: Though it wouldn’t be official for another month, news breaks that Felicity Jones will star in the upcoming Star Wars spinoff.
March 12, 2015: At a Disney shareholders meeting, then-CEO of Disney Bob Iger announces that the upcoming 2016 Star Wars movie is called...ROGUE ONE. And it will star Felicity Jones. The hype and speculation begins.
March 25, 2015: Ben Mendelsohn is added to the cast.
August 3, 2015: A hilarious rumor suggests Felicity Jones is playing Boba Fett’s daughter in Rogue One.
August 8, 2015: Some set photos from Rogue One are revealed, giving us one of our earliest glimpses of the movie.
April 8, 2016: The first toy packaging for Rogue One is revealed.
April 28, 2016: Mads Mikkelsen mistakenly reveals the spoiler that he’s playing Felicity Jones’ father in the film.
May 17, 2016: For the first time, the names of the characters from Rogue One are partially revealed. However, the information was declared a leak by Disney, and the official news wouldn’t come until the following month.
June 3, 2016: The first time we heard that Tony Gilroy was joining Rogue One. Gilroy would eventually get a script credit and move on to work on the film’s Disney+ spinoff show.
June 22, 2016: On this day, all of the names and details about the characters in Rogue One were officially revealed.
July 15, 2016: Star Wars Celebration Europe is underway and, on the floor, some of the first ships from Rogue One are revealed
July 16, 2016: The first Rogue One toy, of Jyn Erso of course, is revealed.
August 3, 2016: Everyone loves a new Star Wars ship and this was our first good look at the U-Wing.
August 11, 2016: The second full Rogue One trailer is released.
August 12, 2016: io9 reminds fans that many Bothans will not be dying in Rogue One.
September 1, 2016: All of the Rogue One toys are finally revealed.
September 15, 2016: Three months before release, Rogue One gets a new composer, Michael Giacchino.
November 10, 2016: Another Rogue One trailer has some big teases of what’s to come.
November 17, 2016: Lucasfilm releases a video of the stars of Rogue One geeking out about being in Star Wars.
November 25, 2016: Another Rogue One trailer, this one with good K2 footage.
December 8, 2016: Director Gareth Edwards talks about the long-running controversy over reshoots and what not.
December 13, 2016: Our review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which we loved.
December 15, 2016: Rogue One isn’t the first time the story of the Death Star plans being stolen was told. The Expanded Universe did it too. And it was wild.
December 16, 2016: Rogue One is out and that means spoilers. Here’s io9's big deep dive into all the Easter eggs we saw in the movie.
December 18, 2016: The finale of Rogue One has new footage from A New Hope and here we wrote about how that ended up happening.
December 19, 2016: Rogue One had many different endings and here’s one of the first times we wrote about them.
December 20, 2016: In an interview Diego Luna says he wanted to touch Jabba, and we can’t stop talking about it.
December 23, 2016: As one would expect, a new Star Wars movie brought out some scorching hot takes. We broke down the worst ones.
December 27, 2016: Lucasfilm finally addresses the controversial decision to digitally recreate Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher.
January 3, 2017: More digging into what actually happened in terms of the Rogue One reshoots. It’s a fascinating story.
January 6, 2017: One of the signature shots from the trailers to Rogue One wasn’t in the movie. Here’s the story why.
January 9, 2017: We spoke to the team behind Rogue One about the process of putting ships and characters from Star Wars Rebels into the film.
January 15, 2017: Hot off the success of Rogue One, Felicity Jones goes on to host Saturday Night Life.
January 20, 2017: In a very cool video, the Lucasfilm Story Group talks about Easter eggs all throughout Rogue One.
January 22, 2017: The question as to why Princess Leia was even near Scarif at the end of Rogue One is revealed.
January 30, 2017: Why no Wedge in Rogue One? Well, here’s the story.
February 22, 2017: The Rogue One Blu-ray is announced, without deleted scenes. Which seems weird.
March 14, 2017: The actress who played Princess Leia on screen, before being digitally replaced, tells the tale.
March 15, 2017: Darth Vader’s climactic moment was a last-minute addition to the film.
March 17, 2017: Rogue One originally had a crawl at the beginning, but it quickly was taken out. Here’s the story.
March 20, 2017: Many Rogue One endings were considered and here we wrote about one of the happier endings that was discussed.
March 22, 2017: We broke the news about an alternate Rogue One ending where everyone would have been frozen in carbonate. For real. It was discussed.
March 27, 2017: A fun retro VHS ad for Rogue One is released.
April 6, 2017: We broke down everything that was cut from Rogue One. It was a lot.
April 15, 2017: Did you notice the Grand Admiral Thrawn reference in Rogue One?
April 17, 2017: Composer Michael Giacchino talked about all the homages in the music to Rogue One.
May 19, 2017: A prequel comic is announced that will show the meeting of K-2SO and Cassian Andor. Presumably this is before the news that’ll come the following year.
November 8, 2018: The legacy of Rogue One continues when a Cassian Andor series is announced.
December 16, 2021: Today, five years after the release of Rogue One.
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