For all of its formidable might, there’s a tension simmering beneath the Galactic Empire – a flashpoint, if you will, that often results in a clash between Force-sensitive power players and those higher-ups in the Imperial ranks. Think of Grand Moff Tarkin locking horns with Darth Vader in A New Hope, or even the spiteful relationship between Kylo Ren and Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux seen in The Force Awakens, who often squabbled about how best to lead the First Order.
With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, that fiery power struggle will stem from Darth Vader and Director Orson Krennic, the latter of whom will be portrayed by Aussie actor Ben Mendelsohn. When quizzed by Empire regarding that contest between Vader and Krennic, the Bloodline actor revealed that, “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.”
That core struggle, one that pits the Force-sensitive against the forceful, often results in some on-screen fireworks, and it’s here that we’ll likely get to see Mendelsohn at his very best. A cool and calculated villain, Gareth Edwards revealed to Empire – the magazine, not the galactic dictatorship – that Krennic rose through the “working-class” ranks, as opposed to hailing “from the aristocracy of the Empire.”
“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!”
Thanks to Disney’s marketing juggernaut, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is fast becoming the talk of the town ahead of its bow on December 16. Aside from the avalanche of teasers and fleeting TV spots, early box office forecasts have wagered that the Gareth Edwards-directed pic will pull in around $130 million on home turf, thereby making it the second-biggest December opening in NA behind The Force Awakens.