Warning: SPOILERS for Star Wars #52
It's only the latest revelation delivered in Marvel's ongoing Star Wars comics, expanding and interconnecting the larger canon with each new issue. And after telling the incredible story of the greatest Star Wars battle you won't see in movies, Star Wars #52 doubles down by showing how the sacrifice of the Rogue One rebels echoed throughout the original trilogy stars.
Enough to make Luke name his famous Rogue fighter squadron in honor of Jyn Erso.
For those who may not know, the current Star Wars series has been telling the real story of the Rebel Alliance's first days (the ones skipped over by the time fans arrive on Hoth in Empire). A story fought with risk and betrayal, as the Rebels first acquire their full fleet of ships and fighters thanks to the Mon Calamari - only to have them locked down by a mole, as the Empire arrives to destroy them.
Putting Luke Skywalker into the cockpit of his X-wing, relying on The Force to do the impossible.
As a battle is waged outside of the ships (where Han Solo proves he's better than Vader) Luke can only sit in his fighter bay, with the hangar doors locked down. Eventually, Han gets him a message he didn't expect: the bay doors will open... he just has to fly straight at them to trip the failsafe. Since the new fighters aren't doing anyone any good locked out of the fight, Luke straps in, and ignores his commanding officers' orders to stand down.
Noting to himself that "I guess this is what Jyn Erso felt like," putting her life on the line for the sake of the Rebellion, Luke punches it. Trusting in the Force has never steered him wrong, and neither has having faith in his friends, meaning the doors open in time (obviously). With the fighter squadrons now entering the battle to protect their ships as they struggle back into operation, the first skirmish of the new, formidable Rebel Fleet is about to begin.
As Luke's fellow X-wing pilots, veterans of the Battle of Yavin fall in line behind him, Wedge Antilles reminds Skywalker that their group needs a call sign. With their risk, sacrifice, and heroism in the face of death fresh in his mind, Luke knows the right answer...
It's a moment that will stir the hearts of plenty devoted Star Wars fans, especially those who felt the story of Rogue One successfully gave faces and names to the soldiers who made the Rebellion possible. Even if fans won't ever get to hear Luke Skywalker honor the lives of Jyn Erso and the crew of Rogue One, thanks to Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca, they can see it for themselves.
Now, fans will know that in the larger canon of the Star Wars universe, Luke's rise to the role of Rogue Leader when Empire begins is tied directly to this scene. And by extension, his looking to both the Force AND the legacy of Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, Baze Malbus, Chirrut Îmwe, Bodhi Rook, K-2SO, and the rest of the fallen Rogue heroes. And that the most famous squadron of pilots in the Star Wars galaxy was named for their bravery.
This story follows nicely after the heroes of Red Squadron proved how badass they really are on Crait, embracing the reputation that came with destroying the Galaxy's greatest superweapon. But pair that unforgettable story with moments like Darth Vader sabotaging Luke to preserve his podrace record, and it's clear that every Star Wars fan who ain't already reading the comics is seriously missing out.
Star Wars #52 is available now from Marvel Comics.