As Luke Skywalker was staring at sunsets on Tatooine and dreaming of joining the Rebellion, Jyn Erso was fighting stormtroopers and wishing for a normal life. She would have gladly traded places with Luke. But December’s Rogue One will find Jyn and her ragtag crew of Rebels moving further and further away from a life of peace.
In a New York Times profile on Jyn actor Felicity Jones, Rogue One director Gareth Edwards said: “A New Hope is the story of a boy who grows up in a tranquil home and dreams of joining a war. What if we have the story of a girl who grows up in a war and dreams of returning to the tranquillity of home?”
This intentional reversal of roles makes Jyn the perfect antithesis to the classic, almost painfully normal hero’s journey that Luke follows. And it’s what made Edwards and the other minds behind Rogue One choose Jones for the role.
Edwards wasn’t looking for “an action star in the classic sense — the clichéd expectation of a soldier or a rebel,” he said. “You can teach anyone to fight, with enough stunt training. But you can’t teach someone to have that soul in their eyes. Whenever you point the camera at Felicity, there’s just so much going on inside.”
Despite their conflicting goals, Luke and Jyn share one thing: difficult relationships with their fathers. Jyn’s story in Rogue One revolves heavily around her father, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen), who is one of the masterminds behind the Empire’s new super weapon, the Death Star. The general idea of family is still strong with this latest Star Wars story, as family tends to be the theme that holds the Star Wars universe together.
Luke’s opposite, Jyn, will be integral to recovering the plans that will, eventually, help Luke and the rest of the rebellion destroy the Death Star. No doubt, the world will learn more about Jyn and her mission when Rogue One premieres December 16.