[Mild SPOILER for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ahead.]
When the trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit the Internet earlier this month, fans were introduced to an all-new set of heroes -- the very first cast that didn't contain a Jedi -- played by such acclaimed actors as Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, and martial arts sensation Donnie Yen (the Ip Man trilogy). The Rogue One Teaser also provided a glimpse at those Rebels' Imperial adversaries in the film, including Ben Mendelsohn's (Bloodline) caped Grand Admiral.
Missing from the trailer, though, were a few key players, including Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen. Last year, Mikkelsen teased a little bit about his role in the upcoming Star Wars movie spinoff with just his character's first name, Galen - and now, the actor has another bombshell to drop.
During an appearance on Sky News to discuss his latest films and a prestigious honor (watch the video above), Mikkelsen initially danced around the story of Rogue One before eventually caving and spilling some delicious, totally-not-made-out-of-human beans: He will be playing the father of Jones' Jyn Erso, the protagonist of Rogue One.
Mikkelsen has been dropping small hints for months about his Rogue One role, so while the news seems to be stacked among those, the reveal still stands. At last year's D23 Expo, Mikkelsen described his role in the story as "a very important role, as much I can say. [My] character is actually not a bad guy, and then I can not say more."
While Mikkelsen is so often cast in the role of the villain (or the murderous anti-hero) this Rogue One role might be an interesting diversion from his past roster. Earlier this year, a rumor about Mikkelsen's Rogue One character re-emerged - this time, with a much better description of the fellow in question. While unconfirmed, the pieces are slowly falling into place, as we can now say that the rumor holds at least some truth - namely, that Mikkelsen's character is Jyn Erso's father. Moreover, his character is allegedly pivotal to both the construction and the eventual destruction of the Death Star. As the original report put it:
[Mads Mikkelsen's character] is a scientist that took over the Geonosian Death Star project. He solved several of the flaws the Empire could not and is sort of a revered person in the Empire for his contributions. However, Mikkelsen’s character is a Robert Oppenheimer-type character ... The guilt “Galen” feels for his contributions to the Empire become too much and he defects, attempting to make things right. In order to do this, he enlists the help of his only daughter...
If the rumor holds true, not only will Galen serve as yet another Imperial deserter (traitor!) in Rogue One, but his knowledge of the original Death Star's inner workings will be key when it comes to the Rebels' mission in the film.
Also intriguing: the possibly estranged relationship between Jyn Erso and her father. In the Rogue One trailer, Mon Mothma states that Jyn has been on her own since the age of sixteen - and while the story remains just out of reach, it might be easy to assume why Jyn decided to ditch her father... and why he might now be desperately trying to right he wrongs that broke them apart. It's an easy assumption, which is why it might not be correct. After all, if there's anything the folks behind the Star Wars franchise like, it's a good mystery.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in 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.
Source: Sky News