Patty Jenkins talks groundbreaking 'Rogue Squadron' gig: 'I feel a huge amount of pressure to make a great "Star Wars" film'

Patty Jenkins continues to blast through Hollywood’s highest glass ceilings.

With 2017’s Wonder Woman, Jenkins became the first female director of a major studio superhero movie. Now, with the announcement that she’ll helm Rogue Squadron, Jenkins will become the first woman ever to helm a Star Wars movie.

To Jenkins, though, it’s all about the work, and specifically, the quality of that work.

“I feel a huge amount of pressure to make a great Star Wars film, of course. The fan base is amazing and massive and that’s no small task. That’s really what I think about,” Jenkins, 49, told Yahoo Entertainment (watch above) during an interview promoting the new sequel Wonder Woman 1984, which finds Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) in a high-stakes race to stop an increasingly powerful oil tycoon (Pedro Pascal) from dooming the planet.

“If I can be in a groundbreaking position to pave the way for other people, that’s amazing. I hope that I get to do that,” she continued. “But luckily [Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984] were not no pressure, either. So I’ve gotten pretty used to the fact that there’s really nothing you can do about it. You just have to try to make a great film and really be diligent about keeping your eye on the ball and always making sure you’re thinking about everything. So I will carry forward and try to make a great movie.”

'Star Wars Rogue Squadron' title art (Disney)
'Star Wars Rogue Squadron' title art (Disney)

Jenkins also revealed how her partnership with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy came to be. It began when the filmmaker visited the set of last year’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

“We were friendly with each other. I share a lot of the same crew so we were friends and I had gone over there and been on set when they were doing the last Star Wars while we were doing Wonder Woman 1984. Our sets were friendly.”

Rogue Squadron will follow the missions of a new group of elite Rebel Alliance starfighter pilots. Historically, the fleet was first introduced during the Battle of Yavin in the 1977 original Star Wars, and who later appeared as Rogue Group in The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Their name was first introduced in 1995 with Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron series, though it was later revealed to be in tribute of the martyrs who took down the Death Star in the movie spin-off prequel Rogue One (2016). While Rogue Squadron was also the name of a video game franchise and series of comic books and novels, Jenkins recently told IGN that her film will be an original story, but it will have “great influence from the games and the books.”

As Jenkins revealed in a widely shared video announcing her involvement, the story has deep personal significance given the filmmaker’s father was a Silver Star Air Force captain and fighter pilot who served in Vietnam and later died during a mock dogfight when she was only 7.

“What happened was [Lucasfilm] just approached me and [asked] would I ever be interested and I said it would really depend on what the story was,” Jenkins explained. “I just always want to make sure that I feel I can make an amazing movie. And when they said Rogue Squadron I almost gasped. Because I couldn’t believe that they were so wise to know and somehow intuit that that’s exactly what I’ve been dying to do for so long because of my past and growing up around fighter pilots. It really is a movie I’ve been dying to make. I spent years trying to make a movie about Chuck Yeager. So this is just a huge honor to get to take this on.”

Rogue Squadron will be released Dec. 25, 2023.

Wonder Woman 1984 hit theaters and HBO Max Dec. 25, this year. Watch the trailer:

—Video produced by Jon San and edited by Jimmie Rhee

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