In just three weeks the upcoming Star Wars spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be here. The first standalone feature film in the Star Wars franchise is a direct prequel to the original classic Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The film follows Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and a band of rebel spies as they defy the odds, managing to steal the Death Star plans out from the Empire just as construction on the superweapon is being completed.
Spearheading the development of the Death Star is Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn). Krennic is specifically the director of advanced weapons research for the Imperial military. Think of him like a sinister Steve Jobs. He’s the man with the vision, but not necessarily the brains to realize the vision itself.
Krennic is a very unorthodox Imperial officer. He wasn’t born on Coruscant (most are) and he carries a blaster (none do). He’s a “working class” officer, as described by the film’s director Garreth Edwards. Edwards recently revealed Krennic has managed to work his way up the ranks “through sheer force of personality and ideas”. But unfortunately for Krennic, he’s hit the glass ceiling in the Empire and he’s counting on the Death Star operating at full power to take him to the next level.
As smart as Krennic is, he’s rather ignorant to the force. His ideas have gotten him far, but he’s still considered to be a small minded person with a limited understanding of the universe by the sith lord Darth Vader. As we already know, Vader was never impressed with the Death Star. But Vader follows orders from Emperor Palpatine and in Rogue One, Vader is tasked with overseeing the completion of the galactic superweapon after Krennics lack of progress has left the Emperor most displeased.
While speaking with Empire Magazine, Mendelsohn spoke about the dynamic between his character Krennic and Darth Vader:
“It’s fair to say Lord Vader and he aren’t friendly. Darth is very much about the Force. Krennic is force. Not really down with the whole mystical thing.”
Mendelsohn went further:
“He is truly a man that has made his own way up the chain through his own abilities. His weapon, for instance, is a very old type of blaster, because he’s an old warrior dude. He’s been put in charge of making this thing happen. And it’s gonna get done!”
We know the Death Star will be fully operational by the time of A New Hope, but whether or not Krennic is still alive by then remains to be seen.
Empire has also released a new photo of Krennic from Rogue One. The picture has me a bit curious as Mendelsohn’s hair is slightly longer and styled differently from everything else we have seen of his character. Could this still be from the reshoots? Or is it more likely to be from the flashback in the film? The flashback is set 15 years prior to the main plot sees Krennic coerce Jyn Erso’s father, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) into providing his talents to help him construct the Death Star.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 16, 2016.
Produced by Lucasfilm, the film stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelson, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. Written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy. Directed by Garreth Edwards.
From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. In theaters December 2016.