Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has released two trailers in the U.S., but the international trailer offered up the biggest tease for fans, as Mon Mothma, leader of the Rebel Alliance, told Jyn Erso that her father sent an Imperial transmission about a weapons test.
One of the big mysterious surrounding Rogue One was the identity of the character played by Hannibal and Doctor Strange star Mads Mikkelsen, but thanks to that trailer's hint, and a new story synopsis for the official Rogue One prequel novel, we now have our definitive answer.
As previously reported, Mikkelsen plays the father of Jyn Orso, who is a scientist with Oppenheimer-like energy theories that can create a super weapon capable of tipping the balance of the Galactic War. According to the novel, Catalyst, and its synopsis, Galen Erso, his wife Lyra, and his daughter Jyn were all rescued from a kidnapping - with their hero being none other than Orson Krennic. Fans who have been eating up every bit of information about Rogue One will recognize that name: he's the main antagonist in Rogue One, played by Ben Mendelsohn, the imposing-looking Imperial dressed in all white in the trailers.
Krennic rescues the Erso family out of interest for Galen's "energy-focused research" and his determination to "develop a superweapon." It's also interesting to note that when rescued by Krennic, "Galen and Lyra believe that his energy research will be used purely in altruistic ways."
The intrigue here is having a father/daughter story that also echoes the 'fall from grace; rise to redemption theme of the Star Wars saga. Jyn sacrificing friends and maybe her own life would definitely hammer home the idea that the people involved with the Death Star's inception also had a hand in ultimately destroying it. It's the kind of heavier theme that these Star Wars stand-alone films can get into, while the main episodes provide the lighter and more whimsical adventures that entertain the masses both old and young.
...In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, with Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur and Simon Emanuel are producing, with John Knoll and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be in theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Story film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Story film in 2020.