Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, known colloquially as Star Wars: Rogue One or simply The Spinoff With Felicity Jones, is hitting theaters this December. Despite all we know about the film’s setting and place in the Star Wars universe, we’ve gotten little information on what a “rogue one” is. Luckily, director Gareth Edwards explained things in an interview with Empire. “What does it mean? ‘Rogue One’ is a military call sign to some extent,” he said, referring to the name of a rebel squadron that attacks the Death Star. “But this is the first film that’s gone off-piste and is not part of the saga — or the Anakin story — so it’s the ‘rogue’ one, you know?”
Do you know? We know — we took two semesters of Major English Poets in college, and we are here to parse every detail.
A “rogue,” according to Merriam-Webster, is “a man who is dishonest or immoral” or “a man who causes trouble in a playful way.” As an adjective, it refers to some person, or some “one,” who possess those qualities. Here, we get into some double meanings, as the story itself is “rogue,” as it isn’t part of the central saga (how playfully troublesome!), and it centers on a “rogue” person: Felicity Jones’s Jyn Erso, a rebel who rebels (how dishonest!). For more on Erso, refer again to Edwards: “[The title is] kind of describing her as well in a similar way … It has these split, multiple meanings that made it feel like the right choice.”
So, like Christianity’s Holy Trinity, the title incorporates several entities (Rogues) into one (One) whole: the rebels, Jones, the film, and possibly Edwards himself. “I don’t know,” he said. “I never see myself that way. But, er … that’d be cool! We tried to do things different, for sure.”