Ben Mendelsohn Talks Darth Vader and Krennic

In just three weeks the upcoming Star Wars spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be here. The first standalone feature film in the Star Wars franchise is a direct prequel to the original classic Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The film follows Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and a band of rebel spies as they defy the odds, managing to steal the Death Star plans out from the Empire just as construction on the superweapon is being completed.

Spearheading the development of the Death Star is Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn). Krennic is specifically the director of advanced weapons research for the Imperial military. Think of him like a sinister Steve Jobs. He’s the man with the vision, but not necessarily the brains to realize the vision itself.

Krennic is a very unorthodox Imperial officer. He wasn’t born on Coruscant (most are) and he carries a blaster (none do). He’s a “working class” officer, as described by the film’s director Garreth Edwards. Edwards recently revealed Krennic has managed to work his way up the ranks “through sheer force of personality and ideas”. But unfortunately for Krennic, he’s hit the glass ceiling in the Empire and he’s counting on the Death Star operating at full power to take him to the next level.

As smart as Krennic is, he’s rather ignorant to the force. His ideas have gotten him far, but he’s still considered to be a small minded person with a limited understanding of the universe by the sith lord Darth Vader. As we already know, Vader was never impressed with the Death Star. But Vader follows orders from Emperor Palpatine and in Rogue One, Vader is tasked with overseeing the completion of the galactic superweapon after Krennics lack of progress has left the Emperor most displeased.

While speaking with Empire Magazine, Mendelsohn spoke about the dynamic between his character Krennic and Darth Vader:

“It’s fair to say Lord Vader and he aren’t friendly. Darth is very much about the Force. Krennic is force. Not really down with the whole mystical thing.”

Mendelsohn went further:

“He is truly a man that has made his own way up the chain through his own abilities. His weapon, for instance, is a very old type of blaster, because he’s an old warrior dude. He’s been put in charge of making this thing happen. And it’s gonna get done!”

We know the Death Star will be fully operational by the time of A New Hope, but whether or not Krennic is still alive by then remains to be seen.

Empire has also released a new photo of Krennic from Rogue One. The picture has me a bit curious as Mendelsohn’s hair is slightly longer and styled differently from everything else we have seen of his character. Could this still be from the reshoots? Or is it more likely to be from the flashback in the film? The flashback is set 15 years prior to the main plot sees Krennic coerce Jyn Erso’s father, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) into providing his talents to help him construct the Death Star.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 16, 2016.

Produced by Lucasfilm, the film stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelson, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. Written by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy. Directed by Garreth Edwards.

From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. 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. In theaters December 2016.




‘Rogue One’: Krennic’s Backstory Revealed

In an exclusive interview with USA Today, Star Wars story group creative executive Pablo Hidalgo revealed key details about the history between Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelson) and Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn).

The following contains spoilers for the upcoming new canon novel by author James Luceno, Star Wars Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel.

In an exclusive interview with USA Today, Star Wars story group creative executive Pablo Hidalgo revealed key details about the history between Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelson) and Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn). Hidalgo cited the Manhatten Project and the experiments conducted at Los Alamos laboratories in New Mexico, as well as the treacherous relationships between executives at Apple and Facebook as influences for the dynamic between Erso and Krennic as the two worked together to construct the technological terror known as the Death Star. To put it simply, Krennic is Steve Jobs and Erso is Steve Wozniak.

Head on over to USA Today to read the interview with Hidalgo as well an excerpt from the new novel that leads directly into the upcoming film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Star Wars Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel hits shelves on November 15. Just a month before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16, 2016.



‘Rogue One’: Official Character Posters Revealed

Lucasfilm just dropped a series of character posters from the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars story via the official Star Wars twitter account.

Lucasfilm just dropped a series of character posters from the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story via the official Star Wars twitter account.

The posters feature our heroic rebel spies as well as the film’s main villain, Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn). Each poster also gives us a very short bio for each of the characters. Check it out below!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 16, 2016.

Topps Star Wars Cards Reveal New ‘Rogue One’ Characters

Thanks to Entertainment Weekly and, we have our first look at some of the new Topps cards featuring new characters who will appear in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The cards also include some incredible imagery captured by cinematographer Greig Fraser.

Thanks to Entertainment Weekly and, we have our first look at some of the new Topps cards featuring new characters who will appear in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The cards also include some incredible imagery captured by cinematographer Greig Fraser.


The unknown female X-Wing pilot looks incredible sporting the orange flight suit first seen worn by Rebel pilots in A New Hope. I’m glad to see women aren’t just front and center in the franchise but mixed into the background as well. Star Wars isn’t just for boys anymore.


This Rebel soldier just stepped out of World War II and into the Star Wars universe. While Rebel soldiers in the past have always had a unique look that was undeniably Star Wars, many of the costume designs for the Rebels and the Imperials were inspired by World War II. It’s nice to see a costume that is so close to the design of the American uniform soldiers wore in battle.


What do you get when you splice together a Wookie and a Wompa? You get Moroff (a Grigoran). Is that a laser minigun he’s armed with?!


A stormtrooper on Scariff captured gorgeously by Greg Frasier. The sky in the background is all natural. No computer graphics necessary.


The Rebel Lookout for the Yavin base first seen in A New Hope. While I am excited to see all of the new costumes and vehicle designs, it’s good to see some old friends in the mix to remind us exactly when and where we are in the timeline.


X-Wing pilots heading into battle for what will be their first victory against the Empire.


Felicity Jones looks absolutely incredible as Jyn Erso. I need to go to Target and find her action figure right now. I’ve been unsuccessful at finding one so far.


What is interesting about this photo of Ben Mendelsohn as Director Krennic is that Imperial officers do not usually carry blasters. He must have a good reason and I hope we get to find out in the film.

To see all of the Topp Cards for Rogue One including some pale blue Mon Calamari, head on over to Entertainment Weekly and

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 16, 2016.



‘Rogue One’: Final Trailer Breakdown

The biggest moments from the incredible final trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

This morning we were delighted to the final U.S. trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The new trailer gave us more insight to the story than previous trailers and confirms the rumor that Jyn Ero’s father, Galen is the scientist who invented the original Death Star — which was alluded to by Mads Mikkelsen at the panel during this past Star Wars Celebration.

Here is a break down of the trailers most remarkable moments.


The trailer opens with some gorgeous cinematography that screams Saving Private Ryan. Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) arrives on an unknown planet via a delta class shuttle to collect the scientist Erso against his will. Krennic is flanked by his squad of Deathtroopers and he’s not taking no for an answer. Considering Jyn’s mother is nowhere to be seen but is rumored to appear in the film, my guess is that she does not make it off the planet alive and that Galen is forced to do whatever he has to in order to protect the only family he has left.


Next we get see Jyn being broken out of Imperial jail by the rebel alliance. Things are starting to make a lot more sense now that we understand the familial connection she has to the Death Star. It’s smart for the rebellion to exploit this and it doesn’t hurt that Jyn is already a bit of a rebel herself.


Giant Jedi statue people. It has been said that the planet Jedha will serve as the Mecca for the Star Wars Universe. Nothing could symbolize the fall of the Jedi Order in the galaxy better than this.


Jyn is escorted by the rebels to the base on Yavin IV where she is briefed on the current crisis. Through Star Wars Rebels and the new canon novels, Lucasfilm has been shaping things up so that the Empire was on the verge of annihilating the rebellion before it could pose a real threat. It would add a lot more weight to Luke Skywalker destroying the technological terror in A New Hope if the Rebel Alliance really is on the brink of complete destruction just before Jyn steals the plans to the Death Star.


Not much is known about the planet we see next other than the fact it will serve as the location for a major action set piece in the film. In previous trailers, rebel soldiers can be seen making a ground assault with X-Wings providing air support. This unknown facility seems like it could be Galen’s base of operations.


The Death Star looms over what is most likely the tropical planet Scariff where the super weapon was constructed.


Next we’re treated to the moment the rebel spies are given their callsign. It’s a little cheesy but I love it anyway. We also get to see the shot from the celebration reel from inside the U-Wing cockpit just as it enters into hyperspace. Rather than using a green screen and CGI for this, director Garreth Edwards opted for a composite screen to give the actors something tangible to interact with.


“The power that we are dealing with here is immeasurable,” Krennic says to Darth Vader. No doubt the scenes featuring Vader are the most anticipated moments of this film. From what we see Krennic does not fear Vader. He better check his tone before he gets force choked.

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There is a lot of speculation going around the internet that this is Tarkin. It’s definitely possible. My theory is that Tarkin will make an appearance in the film, however. This shot is most likely a red herring.


My personal favorite moment from the trailer. While I love the new U-Wing, as well as the new tie strikers and AT-ACT’s, I can’t wait to see things from the original trilogy. Seeing this chicken walker as it lays waste to a city street was like reuniting with an old friend.


It’s a bit poetic that Saw Gerrara is now part man, part machine and in need of a life support system to keep him alive just like the man who trained him — Anakin Skywalker. My hope is that we get to see Gerrara come face to face with Vader, however. For their connection to resonate with general audiences, they need to take the time to explain his past connection with Vader within Rogue itself. Otherwise they run the risk of alienating a lot of people.


Rebellions are built on hope. Donnie Yen’s Chirrut Imwe is all smiles in this trailer and I love it. The Jedi worshiper can feel the force is with them as they embark on their mission to steal the Death Star plans.


I find this shot particularly interesting. This is no doubt the manufacturing facility on Scariff where the Death Star was constructed. But it has me wondering whether this trench or tunnel seen in the photo is the same tunnel we see in the other trailer where Jyn, Cassian and K-2SO are being chased by stormtroopers on the train platform. My first thought was that it was the train that runs across the Death Star itself (described in Lost Stars) but this shot has me thinking otherwise. The bunker at the bottom is also where the rebels will come out of just before they charge towards the AT-ACT’s.


Cough, cough Platoon


Jyn, Cassian and K-2SO infiltrate the Imperial manufacturing facility on Scariff. We’ll have to wait until the third act to see Felicity Jones in her badass undercover gear but what has me pumped is that this is just before they throw down and go fist for fist with some stormtroopers as they steal the plans for the Death Star. With K-2SO at their side, chances are we will get to see him kick some ass as well. He certainly looks like he could hold his own.


Chirrut — the blind force worshiper — tears it up with some sort of Bowcaster in this glimpse from the films climactic action sequence. As we just learned on Star Wars Rebels, someone who can harness the force does not need their sight to be able to see. While it has been said there will be no Jedi in the film, this seems to tell us that Chirrut is a force user.


Space battles! This was no doubt the moment Star Wars fans cheered during the trailer. While I loved The Force Awakens to pieces, the lack of space battles was a bummer for me. Not only are we going to get a space battle, we’re going to get a space battle that features the original X-Wings from the classic trilogy. The facility they are attacking is most likely in space just over Scariff. Chances are this facility was used to assemble the Death Star.


Could this be Jedha being destroyed by the Death Star? It certainly seems like it and with the fall of the Jedi in the galaxy it would make sense, however. The destruction of Aldeeran was the dividing point in the galaxy. Causing many within the Empire to defect to the Rebellion even if they didn’t agree with the rebels — they knew the Empire had to be stopped by any means necessary. The destruction of Jedha has never been mentioned before so if it was destroyed by the Death Star, it isn’t something widely known in the galaxy.


Vader is on a mission. If I saw the Sith Lord walking towards me like that I would kiss my ass goodbye.


Given the rain, it’s possible this is from the same scene on the mysterious planet where Krennic confronts Galen. My best guess is that it’s actually from the scene pictured just above where Vader is stepping towards Krennic. Chances are Krennic isn’t getting the job done and Vader has come to handle things himself.


The rebels can be seen making their last ditch effort to escape Scariff with the Death Star plans during the films climactic action sequence.


Up close and personal. Baze and Chirrut make their escape nearly getting crushed by the foot of an AT-ACT. This moment gave me some serious Jurassic Park vibes. It also shows Edwards’ strength as a director as he hones in on the characters with the background of something epic and fantastical.

While this is said to be the final official trailer for the film I would expect an international trailer (or two) to drop before we start getting bombarded with TV spots ramping up to the film’s release.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 16, 2016.