Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has spent much of its marketing campaign establishing protagonist Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and her team of rebels that band together to battle the Empire. There have been a handful of subtle references to Jyn’s backstory and her relationship with her parents, but the circumstances surrounding her separation from them and subsequent life as a rebel have been largely left in the dark.
Despite the light amount of details given in the movie’s trailers and TV spots, it’s clear that Jyn’s parents play a major role in Rogue One in terms of shaping her as a character and driving the plot. Jyn’s father Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) is a scientist who is one of the most important figures in the building of the Death Star, but appears to be more of a hostage than an ally to Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) and the Empire. The newest TV spot for Rogue One sheds more light on how the relationship between Jyn and Galen will shape the rebels’ plot to steal the Death Star plans.
The new spot (titled “Contact”) shows a conflicted Jyn coming to terms with the fact that Galen is not just working with the Empire to build the Death Star, but playing a key role in its construction and functionality. However, as she has shown in every previous trailer and teaser, Jyn has a sense of hope and determination that the rebels can rescue Galen from the grip of the Empire - and obtain the Death Star plans in the process.
“If my father is the key to destroying a terrible weapon, then we will find him … and bring him back,” Jyn says about Galen, whom she hadn’t seen in 15 years at the time of the start of Rogue One. There’s a new look at Galen in his Imperial uniform, walking among stormtroopers, but his face suggests that he did not choose to be a part of the Empire’s plans. Mikkelsen has previously described Galen as “the most guilty man in the world,” so it’s only becoming more clear that rescuing Galen will go hand-in-hand with disrupting the Empire’s plans to build the Death Star.
Though it appears that Jyn Erso’s mother won’t get tons of screen time in Rogue One, Galen Erso will be among the movie’s most complicated, emotionally fraught characters. Held against his will and caught in the middle of an apparent power struggle, Galen is far from a random hostage. His deep history with Krennic will likely add to the conflicted nature of the character and only make Jyn’s quest to rescue him and obtain the Death Star plans more challenging.
Mikkelsen has earned more of a reputation for playing villainous characters, which he excelled at most recently in Doctor Strange, so it came as something of a surprise that he would play the father of a rebel leader in Rogue One. But as one of the leading scientists in the building of the Death Star, it’s likely that he will play a part, albeit reluctantly, in evildoings for the Empire along the way. It remains to be seen how this will affect his character as he relates to his daughter and the rebels’ battle against the Empire, but Rogue One certainly appears to be building up some pivotal family drama.
Source: Disney/Lucasfilm [via Comic Book]
- Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019