After the confirmation that Darth Vader would be featured in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, you might have assumed that we wouldn’t get any more news about the film today – but Entertainment Weekly isn’t done just yet. Following the reveal of their this week’s cover, they also released new photos of the key players in Rogue One, along with details on each character’s background, giving us a better idea of where we’ll find our new heroes and villains as the story begins.
Described as a “streetwise delinquent” with combat abilities and an understanding of the galaxy’s criminal underworld, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) has “a checkered past,” says Lucasfilm president and Rogue One producer 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.”
Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) Andor is a Rebel intelligence officer who plays things strictly by the book, and his goal is to keep an eye on Erso and make sure she doesn’t lose focus. “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.”
Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) is a formidable warrior who follows the teachings of the Jedi – even though he’s not a Jedi himself. “Chirrut falls into the category of being a warrior monk,” says Kennedy. “He very much still believes in everything the Jedi were about.” Adds director Gareth Edwards: “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.”
Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) may not believe in the ancient religion of the Jedi, but he’s a lifelong friend of Chirrut and is devoted to watching his back. Just don’t expect him to be using the Force – he prefers heavy armor and a blaster. “He understands Chirrut’s spiritual centeredness, but he doesn’t necessarily support it,” Kennedy says, noting that Baze goes along with the idea of the Force because “it’s what his friend deeply believes.”
As the Rebel Alliance’s top pilot, Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) may be a bit hot-headed, but his skills in the cockpit are undeniable. “He flies a lot of cargo, one of his key jobs,” Kennedy says. “And he tends to be a little tense, a little volatile, but everybody in the group really relies on his technical skills.”
K-2SO is the motion-capture character that will be brought to life by Alan Tudyk, a droid trying to atone for his past sins but without the politeness and social grace that we’re accustomed to. “Kaytoo is a little bit like Chewbacca’s personality in a droid’s body,” Edwards says. “He doesn’t give a s— about what you think. He doesn’t fully check himself before he says things and does things. He just speaks the truth.” Fingers crossed that K-2SO is modeled after the hilarious HK-47 from Knights of the Old Republic, who refers to pretty much every human character as “meatbag.”
The primary villain of Rogue One will be Director Orson Krennic, a rising star in the Empire who hopes to crush the rebellion with his elite squad of Deathtroopers, garnering favor with the Emperor in the process. “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.”
There are two additional reveals expected to come soon – Lucasfilm has yet to release an official photo of Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso, a scientist being sought by the Rebel Alliance and the Empire. And Forest Whitaker’s character is apparently tied to a major piece of Star Wars lore, so that news will be coming in a separate post later today.
So now that you’re familiar with the core cast of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, what do you think?
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