The producers of the current crop of ‘Star Wars’ films are notoriously tight-lipped about plot and character details. Anyone who doubts that need only remember the near-total omission of Luke Skywalker from last year’s promotion of ‘The Force Awakens’ (though to be fair, that did match Skywalker’s role in the finished film). We’ve seen a similar sense of guardedness run through the promotion of ‘Rogue One’ so far, though perhaps not quite to the same fanatical degree. But as the film’s release date approaches, those desperate for advance knowledge will find more and more information slipping through the cracks.
In that spirit, director Gareth Edwards recently offered some insights into the character of Orson Krennic, the white-uniformed Imperial Officer seen the in the trailers and the film’s primary antagonist. Edwards recalls Ben Mendelsohn, who plays Krennic, asking if he should adopt a posh accent in the vein of Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin. The director explained, however, that unlike Tarkin, Krennic is something of a working class-figure:
“It feels like if the Empire ever have a job vacancy, they go to the Royal Shakespeare Company to headhunt people. I like the idea that Ben’s character was much more working-class [rising through the ranks] through sheer force of personality and ideas. [Krennic] hits a brick wall in the hierarchy where they won’t let him in the club and it’s going to turn into a them-or-us situation: either Krennic or Tarkin and the others.”
In addition to offering these insights into Krennic’s character, Edwards also described the atmosphere on the set when filming scenes that featured Darth Vader. So powerful was the Sith Lord’s presence, according to the director, that no one on set was immune to the effect:
“It’s like we’re at the playground again and there’s this hero sort of standing there. You end up very respectful of him, Evenr though you know there’s a guy inside the outfit, you still talk to him like he’s Vader.”
Edwards also recalled one of the first scenes filmed between Krennic and Vader, during which Mendelsohn approached between takes, giddy to be filming with Darth Vader, adding:
“It was like no one wanted to admit that they’re having a little fanboy freak-out but everyone did. It’s impossible not to. He’s so iconic.”
Directed by Gareth Edwards, the events of ‘Rogue One’ take place shortly before the original 1977 film, following a group of Rebel spies who find themselves tasked with stealing the plans to the Death Star and delivering them to the Alliance.
‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ will arrive in theaters on December 16, 2016, almost exactly one year after the release of ‘The Force Awakens’. The film stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, and Alan Tudyk.