RUMOR: ‘Rogue One’ Writer Says Film May Skip San Diego Comic-Con 2016

In Features, Panel & Autograph News by Kerry Dixon2 Comments

This is purely in the rumor mill category, so take with a hefty grain of salt.

Gary Whitta, one of the original screenwriters of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, made some potentially interesting remarks on Twitter this week. Let’s take them one at a time.

On Friday, Whitta mentioned on Twitter that while he has badges to attend San Diego Comic-Con this year, he may not actually go, as there’s “nothing this year” for him to promote.

Although Whitta wrote one of the early drafts of Rogue One, he also departed the project in January 2015. Which means that even if Rogue One was having a panel at the convention, it seems unlikely that Whitta would be invited along to appear over Chris Weitz, who was hired to re-work the script and finish it off.

Whitta was then asked by a fan if that comment indeed meant there would be no Rogue One this year at the convention, to which he replied that his “guess is they’re keeping that all for Celebration”.

Star Wars Celebration is the (kind-of-now-annual) fan event and gathering to celebrate all things Star Wars, which began in 1999. It’s scheduled this year for London just a few days before San Diego on July 15-17. Disney has a habit of revealing bigger news at their own events — like D23 or last year’s Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, where they revealed the long-awaited second teaser trailer to the film compared to San Diego, where they simply showed behind-the-scenes footage.

Many have already speculated that the two events being so close together could mean that Disney isn’t bringing Star Wars to SDCC this summer — but, when asked if that meant he’d be attending Celebration, Whitta said, “I doubt it.”

So what does all of this mean?

Since Whitta departed the project in early 2015, it’s unlikely he’d be invited to attend any official panel for the film — San Diego Comic-Con or Star Wars Celebration. And while his comments indicate that he thinks Rogue One won’t be at SDCC this year, we’ve got our doubts.

Are we being overly optimistic? Perhaps. But Star Wars has a long and storied history at San Diego Comic-Con, beginning with a panel for the then-upcoming Star Wars: A New Hope all the way back in 1976. Every year, Friday at the convention is Star Wars Day, with official panels on just about every aspect of the franchise taking over the con.

We’ve been saying all year that fans shouldn’t expect big, breaking news to come out of any Star Wars panel at San Diego — or indeed likely any new footage of Rogue One this year — but what we got out of last year’s Comic-Con panel and concert behind the convention center is that Disney understands the event is still important.

And with the two events scheduled so close together, it could also be to cut down on costs. It’s certainly easier to gather your cast for a single week, and fly them to London and San Diego, than it is to arrange two separate times when all of your cast is available.

So, we’re not counting Rogue One down for the count just yet.

Either way, on the other side of the Disney coin is Marvel Studios — where an appearance is looking a lot more certain after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn’s comments earlier this week.

Do you think we’ll see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at San Diego Comic-Con 2016? Let us know in the comments.