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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Entertainment Weekly Covers 'Rogue One'

Entertainment Weekly is putting the spotlight on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story this week, delivering a treasure trove of new photos and details about the film, including the confirmation of a certain Sith Lord's appearance and the unexpected revelation that a Clone Wars character will be returning. (And no, it's not Ahsoka, unfortunately.) 
The cover of the magazine shows Rebel heroes Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), and K-2S0 (Alan Tudyk) standing on a sandy beach, with Imperial AT-CT's, TIE Strikers, and the Death Star itself looming behind them.

Last month, a major leak unveiled the names of Rogue One's colorful cast of characters. EW is now confirming these, as well as some fresh new details about the characters. First up is Jyn Erso, who is unsurprisingly described as a "streetwise delinquent." Just like the trailer showed us, the Rebellion will detain Jyn and offer her a chance to use her skills and knowledge on a top-secret mission, and reduce her jailtime in return. 
It's clear that Jyn has had a rough past, and much of that may be due to her father, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen). As Making Star Wars said back in January, Galen is a Robert Oppenheimer-type character, in the sense that he has certain "doomsday knowledge" that both the Rebellion and the Empire are after. One can only imagine the family drama that will ensue when Galen discovers that his daughter is trying to steal the schematics for the very battle station that he designed. 

Jyn's partner, Captain Cassian Andor, isn't as much of a loose cannon. EW describes him as a "by-the-book Rebel intelligence officer" who's "committed, steady, and practical." While Jyn is a novice in the Rebel Alliance, Cassian will bring some much-needed experience to the table. 
Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen) is probably the closest thing to a Jedi in Rogue One. He's a "warrior monk" who holds great faith in the ways of the Jedi and has "used his spirituality to overcome his blindness." The concept of individuals who choose to follow the path of the Force despite their lack of Force sensitivity is fascinating, and it's entirely new to Star Wars
Baze Malbus (left) and Chirrut Imwe (right)
In comparison, Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) is more of a Han Solo type. He doesn't believe in ancient religions and prefers the tangible reality of his own blaster, but he'll still go along with Chirrut's spirituality out of respect for his friend. Meanwhile, Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), seen below, is the team's lead pilot who seems to have a volatile temperament that rivals Jyn's. In the context of stereotypical supporting characters, Baze is the weapons expert and Bodhi is the mechanic. 
K-2SO might be just as much of a comic relief character as as the other droids we've seen in Star Wars (C-3PO, BB-8, battle droids, etc.), but he won't be a nice guy. Director Gareth Edwards describes him as "the antithesis of C-3PO" and "Chewbacca's personality in a droid's body," meaning that he says what's on his mind and doesn't hold back. He'll be seeking redemption for "past wrongs," which are most likely related to his prior service as an Imperial security droid. 
The chief villain of the film, Director Orson Krennic, is an "ambitious Imperial apparatchik" who commands his squadron of death troopers against the Rebels because he wants to climb up the Empire's chain of command. Story writer John Knoll said that "the bad guy is a lot more terrifying when he's really smart, and really effective," suggesting that Krennic will be a formidable opposition to the Rebels. 
The Director's most powerful enforcer is none other than Darth Vader himself. That's right, after months upon months of rumors, EW has set the record straight: Vader is in Rogue One. He'll be voiced by James Earl Jones, of course, and played by "a variety of large-framed performers." The Sith Lord's exact role in the Empire is a little unclear; the only person he truly answers to is the Emperor, and Krennic will certainly fear getting on the receiving end of a Force choke. 
Forest Whitaker's character has been shrouded in mystery, and now we know why. He's playing Saw Gerrera, who first appeared in the fifth season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Saw was a hot-headed guerilla fighter on his home planet of Onderon. He fought with Anakin and Obi-Wan against the Seperatists, and paid the price for his resistance when he lost his sister, Steela. 
Since then, Saw has become something of a rebel extremist with questionable morals. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told EW that we should "consider him kind of a battered veteran... He's on the fringe of the Rebel Alliance. Even [they] are a little concerned about him." He's definitely an ally of the central Rebel team, but he's not afraid to challenge them with his own tactics.
This is the first time that an original Clone Wars character has made their way to the big screen, which is an unexpected and impressive accomplishment. It proves that the transfer of characters and other references between the Star Wars films and the animated television – both The Clone Wars and Rebels – isn't just a one-way street. 

A second trailer for Rogue One is expected on Friday, July 15th, during the film's hour-long panel at Star Wars Celebration Europe. What do you think of these new revelations? Tell me in the comments or tweet to @SithObserver, and may the Force be with you all. 

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