As many people know by now, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will mark the feature film debut of several new Star Wars characters. The likes of Jyn Erso and Orson Krennic have been highlighted throughout marketing, but they aren’t the only ones who have a major role in the story. Jyn’s father Galen also has a key part to play, as he is a scientist the Empire forces to work on the Death Star. The canon novel Catalyst extensively dealt with Galen’s past and his relationship with Krennic, setting up a fascinating dynamic for Rogue One to explore.
Fan-favorite actor Mads Mikkelsen plays Galen in the movie, and some of the recent promotional materials (such as the third theatrical trailer) have explained how he factors in. The elder Erso seems to be the driving force of the narrative, as it’s very important for Jyn to find her father and save him from Imperial captivity. So while Mikkelsen may not have the most screen time of the ensemble, he’s still a pertinent piece of the puzzle. Lucasfilm is now shining a light on Galen’s significance by giving him his own character poster.
The one-sheet follows the same template as the ones that came out earlier during the campaign, showing a close-up of Galen with the Death Star plans placed over his face. This poster is an international version that debuted on the Star Wars Italia Twitter account. You can check it out below:
Mikkelsen has previous called Galen the guiltiest man in the universe, so his performance has the potential to be emotionally-wrenching and captivating. The actor is best-known for playing intimidating villains in blockbusters such as Casino Royale and Doctor Strange, meaning Rogue One should be a refreshing change-of-pace for Mikkelsen as he portrays a more sympathetic figure. As stated earlier, Catalyst did a great job of fleshing the character out, revealing how Galen was duped and betrayed by Krennic. Galen thought his research on kyber crystals was being used to deliver renewable energy to the galaxy, but the Empire went behind Erso’s back and based the Death Star’s turbo laser on his findings.
Star Wars has long relied on stories of a parent and their offspring to serve as the heart of the films, dating back to Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader all the way through to Han Solo and Kylo Ren last year. Rogue One is doing things a bit differently from the earlier installments, but some series tropes are too good to pass up. In order for the anthology film to connect with audiences, there has to be a relatable reason to care about the characters, and director Gareth Edwards seems to have nailed that aspect with Galen and the hopeful redemption of the Erso family.