Following EW's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story cover from earlier this morning, the outlet has released some new character details about the people who will appear in the new prequel film. Some of this information leaked about a month ago, but this report provides confirmation and even more specifics about the characters we'll see in the new movie. Let's break it down, shall we?
First up is Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). She's described as having a knowledge of the galactic underworld that the Rebel Alliance is desperate to utilize.
“She’s got 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.”
Next is Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna). He's an intelligence officer meant to counteract Erso's explosive nature, and he's seen plenty of action on the battlefield. He's described as "committed, steady, and practical."
“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.”
Then we have Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen). Pronounced "chi-RUT," the character isn't a Jedi but he subscribes to their belief system and "has used his spirituality to overcome his blindness and become a formidable warrior."
“Chirrut falls into the category of being a warrior monk,” says Kennedy. “He very much still believes in everything the Jedi were about.” He maintains that belief even though the Jedi are no longer there to protect the galaxy. As director Gareth Edwards puts it: "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.”
Chirrut's buddy is Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen). What a perfect Star Wars character name, huh? He's loaded up with armor and his relationship to Chirrut is likened to that of Sancho Panza to Don Quixote.
“He understands Chirrut’s spiritual centeredness, but he doesn’t necessarily support it,” Kennedy says. Baze goes along with this Force business because “it’s what his friend deeply believes,” she adds.
Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) is the Rebel squad's lead pilot, who has a short-tempered but some mad aerial skills.
“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 a tough, no-nonsense droid seeking redemption for his past mistakes, played in motion capture by Alan Tudyk. Edwards refers to him as "the antithesis of C-3PO."
“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.”
Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) is Jyn's estranged father, a scientist compared to nuclear icon Robert Oppenheimer who has information both the Empire and the Rebellion want.
In addition to the already-confirmed appearance of Darth Vader, the Empire will be led by Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), an intelligent, effective villain attempting to gain power through political intrigue. His main intention is to "use his squad of Deathtroopers to pulverize the Rebel uprising and ascend into the Emperor’s graces – while hopefully avoiding the wrath of his enforcer, Darth Vader."
Forest Whitaker's character is being kept under wraps until later today, but the outlet hints that Star Wars completists will recognize his past immediately when we find out his name. Stay tuned for more on this later this afternoon.
Also worth noting here: in a big interview with THR, Disney CEO Bob Iger commented about the Rogue One reshoots:
I've seen Rogue One. I've seen not only an edited picture but I've seen significantly more footage than was even in that picture. That's actually going to be a fine film.
While I certainly didn't expect him to say anything approaching, "That movie is in serious trouble," some fans may read into him describing the movie as "fine" as opposed to a more exciting adjective. Take from all of this what you will, but despite the rumors, I'm very excited about this film.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16, 2016.