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Most fighter squadrons belonging to the Rebel Alliance and the Resistance seem to have colour-based names: red, blue, green, gold, etc.

Rogue Squadron stands out as different. Is there any information about where the name comes from and if it has any special meaning?

Legends material is acceptable. I gather Rogue Squadron turned up quite a bit in various EU works.

Other clarifications:

I am aware of the basic meanings of the word rogue.

If it turns out non-colour-based squadron names are actually pretty common, I'm still interested in more background about the Rogue Squadron name specifically, if any exists.

  • +1 for the interesting question, and for clearly specifying that Legends is acceptable in both the question text and tags. I wish all askers were as clear as you. – Null Jan 10 '16 at 18:16
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    OK, this is annoying but I have to give up. I spent about 3 hours digging through some obscure (and not) sources and apparently no clear answer exists as to why that name was chosen (aside from a vague plausible guess that it was similar to to Renegade and that both fit thematically with outlaw Rebels). For reference, Thrawn Trilogy first formally naed Rogue Squadron - but never offered the rationale for the name. Neither did Episode V script that I could find, or Episode V novelization. I may have missed it but "The Journal of making ESB" doesn't have anything either :( – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 10 '16 at 20:42
  • ... also couldn't find anything in X-Wing books yet. Oh, and +1, awesome question. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 10 '16 at 20:49
  • @DVK are you aware of any information about who normally names fighter squadrons? The odd name could perhaps be chalked up to idiosyncrasy from General Rieekan, though that would mean ignoring the EU-retcon mentioned in Jane's answer that dates the formation of the squadron to years before the Battle of Hoth. – Renegade Princess Jan 11 '16 at 1:20
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    @RenegadePrincess - IIRC, Wraith squadron was named by Wedge Antilles. Don't recall anyone mentioning any other naming sources. Yub-yub. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 11 '16 at 2:18
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It seems to be the remnants of Red Squadron that attacked the Death Star near Yavin in A New Hope.

Not sure how canon this is, but Wikipedia gives this background:

Red Squadron was essential to the destruction of the Death Star at the Battle of Yavin. After the battle, the squadron operated as two groups. The first was the Renegade Flight under Commander Narra, the squadron leader, and the second was the Rogue Flight under Luke Skywalker. As the Rogues became more autonomous, they became a group with no standing orders, ready any time or place for urgent missions that would arise. Their core was Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles, Zev Senesca, and Wes Janson.

"Rogue squadron" was essentially able to be pulled into any mission that was required, not a specific role or task and was the success to Rogue Flight.

I'm not able to find anything more canon than that. The source cited for the Wikipedia article is The Star Wars Encyclopedia by Stephen J Sansweet.

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    I suspect the Renegade Flight name was chosen specifically so that it matched thematically with the Rogue Group name from The Empire Strikes Back, but it's still a mystery as to why the theme itself was chosen or where it comes from. – Renegade Princess Jan 11 '16 at 1:06
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    @RenegadePrincess I have no doubt that the story of Renegade and Rogues Flights was retconned, but the only reason for the theme that springs to mind is that renegades and rogues are often rebels, so they are reasonable names for Flight names for the Rebel Alliance. I guess that "Rogue Squadron" was just cooler sounding that "Red Squadron" :) – Jane S Jan 11 '16 at 1:53
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    the idea of the Alliance to Restore the Republic choosing to reclaim and take ownership of the "rebel" label the Empire gave them — to the point where they start naming some of their fighter squadrons in honour of it — is an appealing one. :) – Renegade Princess Jan 11 '16 at 2:14
  • Maybe it is a typo of "rouge" – Burgi Jan 11 '16 at 9:58
  • @Burgi LOL! And Blue Squadron was named after blue eye shadow ;) – Jane S Jan 11 '16 at 10:01
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Appropriately enough, an answer to this has now been provided in the movie Rogue One.

Rogue One (released Dec 2016) spoilers follow. They are MAJOR spoilers. I'm not kidding.

The callsign "Rogue One" is improvised on the spot by Imperial defector Bodhi Rook as he makes an unauthorised departure from the Rebel base in a (previously stolen) Imperial Shuttle. He is with Jyn Erso and her strike team as they leave on a mission to steal the Death Star plans.

Although the Rebel launch controller complains at the time that the callsign doesn't exist, it seems evident that the Rebel leaders later adopted "Rogue" as an official designation in honour of Bodhi, Jyn, and the rest of the strike team who gave up their lives to retrieve the plans and give the Rebel Alliance a new hope of survival and eventual victory.

In the scene itself it is somewhat ambiguous where Bodhi takes his inspiration for the name from. He's looking at Jyn for guidance, and it's possible it's a direct reference to her. It's also possible he's referring more generally to the whole team going rogue on a mission/plan the Rebel leadership has just rejected. A third possibility is that he's referring to himself, having defected from being an Imperial cargo pilot and soon afterwards disobeying orders from the Rebel Alliance as well. It may be a mixture of these factors.

The timing of "Rogue" coming into use as an official callsign by the time of The Empire Strikes Back also fits in nicely. The events of A New Hope follow on so closely from Rogue One that the Rebels wouldn't have had time for much in the way of administrative changes — and the successful destruction of the Death Star is what really solidifies the crucial historical importance of the sacrifice made by Jyn, Bodhi, and the Rogue One strike team.

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In the novelisation for the film "Rogue One", it appears that Imperial defector Bodhi Rook is already thinking about the consequences of being a rogue (in the sense of disobeying the orders of the Rebel Council and going after Jyn Erso's father).

He thought about his passengers. Like him, they were going rogue, courting treason by defying the Alliance council. They’d already pilfered enough Alliance weapons and gear to supply an army; and Bodhi had seen enough of the operation on Yavin to know equipment was in short supply.

When pushed by Rebel control, he comes up with a call sign that he thinks will pass muster.

“What’s your call sign?” the voice on the comm asked.
“Yes, we have it…” Just take off! “It’s, ah—”
Think, Bodhi. Give them something. Give them anything.
If you give them something, they might not shoot.
“—call sign Rogue. Rogue One.”

He transferred power to the thrusters, felt the familiar wobble of a cargo shuttle taking off under his control. The officer on the other end of the comm was squawking at him. Bodhi ignored it.
“Rogue One,” he declared, “pulling away!”


It would appear that the Rebels, in recognition of the great sacrifice made by Jyn and her troops started using that callsign as part of their standard repertoire afterwards, typically to designate a detachable squadron capable of carrying out specialised tasks.

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