As the build up towards Star Wars Celebration in July continues, the amount of new information about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the saga’s first venture into anthology storytelling, is beginning to pile up. Greatly contributing to this the latest edition of Entertainment Weekly, which went behind the scenes with its Bothan spies to wrestle a whole load of new information about the galaxy’s new freedom fighters – who will be facing off against the confirmed-to-be-returning Darth Vader as they attempt to uncover the plans for the Death Star.
Below, we will run down the new character descriptions that have been revealed…
Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones)
“She’s got a checkered past,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “She has been detained [by the Rebellion] and is being given an opportunity to be useful. And by being useful, it may commute her sentence… She’s a real survivor. She becomes a kind of Joan of Arc in the story.” That much we gathered from the trailer, but it’s nice to see a true rebel. While Luke and Rey are undoubtedly heroic, they’re not exactly anti-authority figures. In fact, we’d almost view her is a mix of Rey and Han Solo – a great mix.
Cassian Andor (Diego Luna)
“He conveys a fair amount of experience and the reality of what it’s like to do this every day, to try to figure out how to resist the Empire effectively and intelligently,” says Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm’s chief of story development. “It’s not easy.” Indeed, judging by how world-weary he looks, this would appear to be the case. A combat veteran who is brought in to keep an eye on Jyn, expect sparks (and possibly more) to fly.
Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed)
“He flies a lot of cargo, one of his key jobs,” says Kennedy, “And he tends to be a little tense, a little volatile, but everybody in the group really relies on his technical skills.” In otherwords, he’s the crew’s master pilot. Thing Firefly‘s Wash transplanted into the Star Wars universe. It’s a great thought. Speaking of Wash…
K-2S0 (Alan Tudyk)
“Kaytoo is a little bit like Chewbacca’s personality in a droid’s body,” says Gareth Edwards. “He doesn’t give a shit about what you think. He doesn’t fully check himself before he says things and does things. He just speaks the truth.” A reprogrammed Imperial security droid, he’s C-3P0 if the latter decided to stop protesting and start fighting. With Tudyk involved, expect him to be a frequent scene-stealer.
Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen)
“Chirrut falls into the category of being a warrior monk,” says Kennedy. “He very much still believes in everything the Jedi were about.” So he’s no Jedi, but he’s still a pretty formidable warrior, as highlighted by his takedown of a bunch of Stormtroopers despite the small matter of being blind. Moreover, according to Edwards, he will likely be the film’s moral centre. “This idea that magical beings are going to come and save us is going away, and it’s up to normal, everyday people to take a stand to stop evil from dominating the world.”
Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendolsohn)
“The bad guy is a lot more terrifying when he’s really smart, and really effective,” says Knoll. “There is a lot of palace intrigue going on in the Empire, with people conspiring to move up the ranks and sabotaging each other. There’s not a lot of loyalty there.” A lot of Krennic’s actions are motivated by fear, however. With Darth Vader confirmed to be involved, he’s desperate to ensure he doesn’t get the dreaded punishment Force-choke.
Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen)
“He’s one of those people that has insight into specific aspects of just how the universe works,” says Hart. Revealed by Mikkelsen as Jyn’s father, the circumstances of his history with his daughter are being kept under wraps. “The circumstances of how the family got to the state that it’s in is something that we probably don’t want to share right now.”
Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker)
“Consider him kind of a battered veteran who leads a band of Rebel extremists. He’s on the fringe of the Rebel Alliance. Even [they] are a little concerned about him.” Intriguingly, Gerrera is no newbie, having shown up in a few episodes of animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, where he was trained by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano to help liberate his planet of Onderson from the Separatists – a skirmish which cost the life of his sister, Steela. In the film he’s a scarred veteran who has continued to fight, and although he is affiliated to the Rebels, he’s not an official team member. “He’s off on his own,” says Kennedy.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released in cinemas on 16 December 2016. You can download the Star Wars Original Trilogy: Complete Manual from GreatDigitalMags.com now. For more news about the latest movies, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.