While anticipation for the next Star Wars film feels slightly different this year than it did last year for the The Force Awakens, we’re all still losing our minds over pretty much any details on the impending prequel, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
This morning, a space cruiser’s worth of new info dropped as Good Morning America ran a brief segment featuring Entertainment Weekly’s resident Star Wars expert Anthony Breznican, who both teased out some plot points, and made clear other details, that were, up until now, not officially confirmed. In addition, EW ran a feature with almost every single new character’s name and bio.
Here’s what we now know for sure:
• Felicity Jones’s Jyn Erso is going to be “very different from Rey” and “very different from Luke.” She is also trying to “commute her sentence” because she’s a criminal delinquent. Presumably this means she’s broken some Imperial laws, but it’s also said she’s being “detained” by the Rebels, which seems to mean she’s broken laws even the Rebels think are bad to break? Are they threatening to turn her in if she doesn’t steal the Death Star plans?
• Diego Luna’s character’s name is Captain Cassain Ador. He seems to have a bigger part than the earlier trailer indicated. It also looks like he’s there to contain the more “volatile” Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones).
• This is the most diverse cast in a Star Wars film to date.
• Donnie Yen’s character is named Chirrut Imwe and he’s not a Jedi, but he believes in the ways of the Jedi and is a spiritual “warrior monk.”
• Jiang Wen’s character is named Baze Malbus and he is buddies with Chirrut. He’s more down with blasters than mysticism, and is described as being the “Sancho Panza” to Chirrut’s “Don Quixote.”
• Riz Ahmed plays Bohdi Rook who is the lead pilot of this rag-tag group. He’s described as hot-headed and abrasive. Naturally, he’s really good at his job, though.
• Alan Tudyk is voicing K-2SO, who is “the antithesis of C-3P0.” K-2SO is a security droid who has “Chewbacca’s personality in a droid’s body.” This is a droid who also has some kind of checkered past who is seeking “redemption.”
Mads Mikkelsen is playing Galen Erso! Which means he’s Jyn’s father! This news confirms the earlier leak about the familiar relationship between these two. Still, we don’t have a lot of details. He’s described as being “like a galactic version of nuclear pioneer J. Robert Oppenheimer.” How and why he and Jyn are estranged isn’t clear yet, either. Lucasfilm has also withheld images of his costume from EW, meaning there’s even more to be revealed with this guy.
• Ben Mehndelsohn’s villain is named Director Orson Krennic. He’s the guy in charge of these new Death Troopers and he’s described as “terrifying” and “smart.” It’s also mentioned that hes hoping to avoid the wrath of Darth Vader. Obviously, there’s some kind of competition between these two for favor with the Emperor. I’d say the safe money is on Vader?
• Forest Whitaker’s character is still unrevealed, but it’s said “This character has a past that Star Wars completists will recognize immediately when they see his name.” But they aren’t saying his name or what that means yet, though we will know sometime later today…
• The movie takes place on “a new planet.” (Which seems weird, because the trailer clearly showed a bunch of the Rebel Base, Yavin IV, which isn’t new to Star Wars fans)
• Darth Vader is definitely back. And even when he’s not onscreen he’s “looming” over Ben Mendelsohn’s character who is trying to carry out the “wishes of the Emperor.”
• The movie is about “regular people,” which seems to mean the Force is not literally with them!
The first big takeaway here is that Darth Vader will certainly make an appearance in the film, but if you read Anthony Breznican’s comments a certain way, he’s not going to be in it much. Still, it would be fairly awesome to catch a scene with Vader and the Emperor chatting about the Death Star plans, or even dishing the dirt about how they’re going to get rid of the Galactic Senate. At some point a few had speculated that Ben Mendelsohn would be playing a slightly younger version of Grand Moff Tarkin, though the reveal here of his name being Director Orson Krennic totally puts that theory to rest.
The second maybe bigger inference from all this is about Felicity Jones’s new character, Jyn Erso. From what is said here, her being unlike Rey and Luke seems to be aimed squarely at some speculation that Jyn Erso would be Rey’s mother, and perhaps even hook-up with Luke. Plus, if we’re being told Jyn Erso is not Force-sensitive, then this seems to prove that the intention of this film is to truly establish a set of characters who have a different lineage than the other Star Wars characters we’ve seen to date. Plus, the confirmation she is definitely the daughter of Mads Mikkelsen’s Galen Erso seems to indicate this film is creating new Star Wars family drama, rather than linking in with old Star Wars family drama.
Bottom line: because Jyn is her own person, Rogue One seems to really be a standalone movie, and not a piece of a larger Star Wars jigsaw puzzle.
What all these new reveals mean is that as of now, Rogue One doesn’t seem to be deviating from the way its been previously billed: a dark, independent story, unconnected to the established group of characters, but simply set inside the Star Wars universe. Other than Darth Vader’s presence, nothing about this new news seems to indicate Rogue One is going to tone things down at all or jump the space shark one bit.