Rogue One International Trailer & The Erso Family

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Warning: Possible SPOILERS for Rogue One


In the new international trailer for Rogue One (which includes a few new shots, extended shots, and reused shots from previous footage) the new piece of story information we have is that Jyn’s father, Galen Erso, is the one responsible for sending an intercepted coded transmission regarding the imminent testing of the Death Star.

This news of her father may be the first confirmation Jyn has had that he is still alive as Jyn has been on her own since at least the age of 15.

Your father

We know from Entertainment Weekly that scientist Galen Erso “is like the galactic version of nuclear pioneer J. Robert Oppenheimer, with doomsday knowledge that is sought by both the Empire and the Rebellion. ‘He’s one of those people that has insight into you know specific aspects of just how the universe works,’ says Hart” [Kiri Hart is Lucasfilm’s chief of story development].

Given that the Death Star’s superlaser utilizes eight Kyber crystals, one wonders what Galen’s expertise is.

Mads Mikkelsen at Celebration Europe said of Galen that he “at one point invented something so beautiful, so fantastic, that it might change the universe.” It seems clear that Galen is a key figure in the design of the Death Stars superlaser. Were the motives behind his invention benign (perhaps it was not intended as a weapon?) Did he have a change of heart, like Oppenheimer with the atomic bomb, after he realized exactly what he had unleashed upon the galaxy?

It is likely that Galen purposely sent the message in a way that the Rebels could intercept it (or the “message” they refer to is not the same as the “transmission” as the trailer implies). From various trailer shots and behind the scenes images, it appears that Galen was not a willing participant in the Empire’s schemes.

Mikkelsen told the London Evening Standard that we will see his character with both an older and younger Jyn. This “flashback” can be seen in various pieces from the trailers and behind the scenes images.

Galen planet

Galen Erso standing alone on what is presumably his homestead (shot in Iceland). I get the feeling that Galen is trying to live in peaceful isolation, away from the prying of the Empire, and anyone else who may want his secrets.

Galen Orson

A younger Orson Krennic, flanked by his Death Troopers, approaches Galen.

Galen Troops

Death Troopers in action. It looks like things don’t go so well for the Erso family.

Galen Jyn doll maybe

An amazingly provocative shot of a Death Trooper holding a stormtrooper doll. Presumably one of Jyn’s toys. Perhaps her views on the Empire change with this encounter.

Galen burn

The Erso homestead burning? Galen clearly does not join the Empire willingly.

Galen Jyn Jump

A behind the scenes shot of a young Jyn jumping off a cliff as she flees the Death Troopers. Does she know what has happened to her father?

jyncuff

We know Jyn has a criminal past including “forgery of Imperial documents, possession of stolen property, aggravated assault, and resisting arrest.” And, according to the EW profile on Jyn, “she has fighting skills and a knowledge of the galactic underworld that the Rebel Alliance desperately needs.” Her knowledge of the galactic underworld may be her link to extremist rebel leader Saw Gerrera, with whom it is said she has a close relationship. But the involvement of Jyn’s father – clearly no coincidence – may be another key reason they want her for this mission. Does she know something vital about her father’s work that will help them find the plans?

However, Jyn’s involvement in this mission may become even more personal than the Rebel Alliance intended.

According to the packaging of the Comic-Con exclusive Jyn figure, she has “little patience for debate within Alliance High Command, enough so that she takes matters into her own hands.” Is this referring to her status before she is detained and given the mission, or could this mean she defies Alliance orders in order to rescue her father from Imperial hands?

In the new International trailer, we see an extended shot of X-wings attacking Orson Krennic’s shuttle (I had originally thought it could be a Sith temple do to the shape, but was corrected by Brent Vogt).

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Krennic himself can be seen near his shuttle.

Krennic

This extended shot, combined with others, shows that Cassian and Jyn are very near the ship when the X-wing attack happens. Perhaps Jyn and Cassian (with the aid of Chirrut and Baze) are attempting to rescue her father before he is killed in the attack?

planet attack

This theory is given further credence with Cassian’s line to Jyn in both trailers, “if you’re really doing this, I want to help.”

Want to help

This conspiratorial line seems to be referring to an unofficial mission that is against Alliance orders, since Cassian is apparently Jyn’s handler for the original mission.

I speculate that this planet is where Galen is being held by the Empire, forced to work on the technology for the Death Star’s superlaser and the story thus becomes a rescue mission working around a Rebel attack.

The question then becomes, what do they have hanging over him to ensure he cooperates? Wild speculation: Jyn’s mother!

Till next time, may the Force be with you.

Chris Miller

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