Today brought us confirmation that Darth Vader would be inRogue One: A Star Wars Story. But that isn’t the only bit of news we should be excited over. We also got a little bit of background information for a few of the film’s characters. However, even more details and official names are being released about the group who will go on a daring mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, and the untrustworthy antagonist who is trying to rise within the ranks of the Empire.
Find out more about who these characters are and their purpose in the film below.
The information comes to us from EW, who confirmed that Darth Vader would be in the film. While he is obviously a significant character, the magazine’s latest piece focuses more on the characters who will attempt to steal the plans and the man who intends to stop them.
We will start with Jyn Erso. Played by Felicity Jones, Jyn is described as “a streetwise delinquent who has been on her own since 15.” She’s also skillful in hand-to-hand combat, something that the Rebels see as helpful when they are putting together the group who will go on a dangerous mission like stealing plans to the Death Star. But as previously reported, she has had run-ins with both factions, and now that she is in the custody of the Rebellion, she has the opportunity to clear her name by going on that mission. â€œShe has been detained [by the Rebellion] and is being given an opportunity to be useful,” says Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “And by being useful, it may commute her sentenceâ€¦ Sheâ€™s a real survivor. She becomes a kind of Joan of Arc in the story.â€
Captain Cassian Andor
Based on the description given, it seems as though Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) will be the one to give out the commands on this mission. Described as a “by-the-book Rebel intelligence officer,” he will be responsible for keeping an eye on the unpredictable Erso. According to Kennedy, he’s committed, steady, and practical, and has seen more than his share of combat. He basically is one of the most experienced members of the team.
We briefly saw what Donnie Yen could do in the teaser trailer for Rogue One, but did not know who he was until now. He’ll play Chirrut Imwe, who isn’t a Jedi, but “a warrior monk” who is “dedicated to their way of life.” And yes he is blind, he uses his spirituality as a guide to overcome his blindness to be the warrior that we saw in the teaser trailer.
Sometimes it helps to have a friend, and that is what Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) is to Chirrut. Although he doesn’t share the same beliefs in the ways of the Jedi or their ancient weaponry, he will protect him at any cost. “He understands Chirrutâ€™s spiritual centeredness, but he doesnâ€™t necessarily support it,â€ Kennedy says. Baze does this because of Chirrut’s profound belief in the ways of the Jedi. The bond that these two share is similar to that of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, or maybe even Han Solo and Chewbacca.
Riz Ahmed is Bodhi Rook, the pilot of the group. He tends to be hot-headed, but when under pressure he can fly like an ace pilot. But it appears that his skills are best at transporting instead of aerial dog fighting. â€œHe flies a lot of cargo, one of his key jobs,â€ Kennedy says. â€œAnd he tends to be a little tense, a little volatile, but everybody in the group really relies on his technical skills.â€
Rogue One director Gareth Edwards calls K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) â€œthe antithesis of C-3PO.â€ Meaning, he isn’t the easily startled meager but also kind robot we’ve seen, instead K-2SO is tough, confident, not especially interested in “human/cyborg relations.” According to Edwards, “He doesnâ€™t give a s— about what you think. He doesn’t fully check himself before he says things and does things. He just speaks the truth.â€ He also has had a few run-ins with the Rebels and is looking to communicate by going on this mission.
Mads Mikkelsen will play Galen Erso, a highly sought after scientist by both the Rebels and the Empire, and estranged father to Jyn. He is described as a galactic version of nuclear pioneer J. Robert Oppenheimer. It’s not clear how Galen and Jyn became an estranged family, but Disney and Lucasfilm aren’t willing to give out that kind of information just yet. PR isn’t even ready to release an image of him, making his character even more important as it could have a significant impact on the Star Wars storytelling universe.
Our villain of the group will no longer go by the name “guy in the white cloak.” Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), who is described as “an ambitious Imperial apparatchik who intends to use his squad of Deathtroopers to pulverize the Rebel uprising and ascend into the Emperorâ€™s graces â€“ while hopefully avoiding the wrath of his enforcer, Darth Vader.” According to the site, heâ€™s really smart, and really effective, but there are people within the Empire who are “conspiring to move up the ranks and sabotaging each other.” So basically there’s still some trust issues that needs to be worked out.
Finally, there’s Saw Gerrera (Forrest Whitaker). Now, this isn’t the first time some of us have seen the character. In fact, if you go as far back as the Clone Wars series, you would have seen him. Debuting in an episode titled â€œA War on Two Frontsâ€ and a handful of episodes after that, Saw and his sister Steela fighting alongside Anakin Skywalker before he became Darth Vader. So it should be interesting to see if he were to confront Darth Vader the same way that Ahsoka did in Star Wars Rebels. Heck, there may be an even an episode that leads up to Rogue One, how awesome would that be.
We learn that he is â€œkind of a battered veteran who leads a band of Rebel extremists,” though he doesn’t “rebel” as much as Jyn does.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16, 2016.