Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has focused most of its marketing efforts on protagonist Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and her team of rebels, but recently it has shifted somewhat to the other side. The Empire’s Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), Rogue One's primary antagonist, has been largely mysterious in the lead-up to the movie's imminent release. However, recent reports have shed more light on the Imperial leader and his apparent power struggle with Darth Vader in the film.
Krennic has a deep history with Jyn Erso’s father Galen Erso - the scientist who is forced to help the Empire build the Death Star - but he also has a history with the Empire itself. Mendelsohn’s character will represent more of a blue-collar Imperial officer, providing a foil to Darth Vader’s immense power with the Force. Shedding more light on the character, Mendelsohn describes an officer who has worked his way up the ladder of the Empire as it grew.
It’s fitting that Empire would be an outlet to release exclusive stories and images of the Imperial characters that populate Rogue One. In a new interview, Mendelsohn goes more in-depth on Krennic and his place in the narrative of Rogue One, making him sound unlike any other Imperial character seen before. The site also released a fresh image of Krennic looking all business as he stands with, presumably, troopers aboard the Death Star in Rogue One (see below).
"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 told Empire, when he described Krennic’s working relationship with Darth Vader. Rogue One director Gareth Edwards described Krennic’s journey as being a “working-class route through the Empire.”
Mendelsohn also described Krennic’s history and personality as such:
"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!"
It’s been seen before how Vader treats those who question the power of the Force. Krennic’s blue-collar skepticism sounds like a pre-cursor to the hapless officer who Vader famously Force-chokes in the “I find your lack of faith disturbing” scene in the original Star Wars. Krennic, however, is the Director of the Empire’s Death Star plans, so Vader will likely need to find a less violent way to instill some faith in him. It’s a given that Vader will escape Rogue One: A Star Wars Story just fine; Krennic’s clashes with him - and his ultimate fate - will be one of the movie’s more intriguing side-plots.