Like all the films in the franchise before it, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will introduce a collection of new characters to the galaxy far, far away. Fans are starting to familiarize themselves with names like Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, and Director Krennic, learning more details about them as Lucasfilm ramps up the marketing efforts for their latest movie. Many have already taken a liking to them, since attendees at this year's Star Wars Celebration in London are already cosplaying as individuals from Rogue One.
A character with the potential to be one of the most intriguing additions to the series is Galen Erso, played by fan-favorite character actor Mads Mikkelsen. Little is known about him, other than the fact that he is the father of protagonist Jyn Erso. During the Rogue One panel at Celebration, Mikkelsen was at the liberty to further discuss Galen, describing him as a scientist who once built something "so beautiful" for the universe and is a person of interest in the film. The first image of Mikkelsen as Galen was also revealed during the presentation.
In the picture, the elder Erso seems a bit worse for wear, clad in a simple outfit consisting of a brown tunic and dark undershirt. Check it out below:
Early rumors about Galen Erso suggested that he helped the Galactic Empire in designing the Death Star, before guilt over what he had done drove him away. Going by Mikkelsen's claim that Galen is a "person of interest," there could be some truth to that. In the event this bit of speculation pans out, Galen would be of great value to both the Empire and the Rebels. The two warring factions are going to be after whatever information they can find. Still, without much to go off of at this point in time (Star Wars loves its secrecy), it will be interesting to see how exactly Galen fits into the narrative and what is ultimate role is. There's so much hearsay about projects of this scale, anything is possible.
It's safe to assume that Galen will at least be partially responsible for the emotional component of Rogue One. Star Wars movies have a history of depicting a father's troubled relationship with their offspring (see: Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, Han Solo and Kylo Ren). The Rogue One teaser stated that Jyn has been on her own since she was a teenager, indicating that at one point she decided to run away from home. The dynamic between the Ersos should be truly fascinating to watch, providing the film with an element of heart that resonates with the viewers. With talented performers like Felicity Jones and Mikkelsen playing the characters, whatever arc they have has the potential to be very satisfying.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.