Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Tie-In Novel Reveals Krennic’s Backstory

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Though he’s been glimpsed a couple of times in the trailers and featured in several stills, so far the marketing for Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has avoided revealing too much about Ben Mendelsohn’s villainous Director Orson Krennic. All we previously had to go on was that he was the ambitious Imperial officer in charge of the construction of the Death Star, but now, thanks to a publisher’s synopsis for tie-in novel Catalyst, we have an intriguing glimpse into the character’s past.

The biggest reveal is that Krennic and Jyn Erso’s father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) were actually old friends, and that the latter was, as rumored, responsible for providing the Empire with the technology to build the Death Star’s devastating laser.

Why would he do something like that, you ask? Read on to find out:

War is tearing the galaxy apart. For years the Republic and the Separatists have battled across the stars, each building more and more deadly technology in an attempt to win the war. As a member of Chancellor Palpatine’s top secret Death Star project, Orson Krennic is determined to develop a superweapon before their enemies can. And an old friend of Krennic’s, the brilliant scientist Galen Erso, could be the key.

Galen’s energy-focused research has captured the attention of both Krennic and his foes, making the scientist a crucial pawn in the galactic conflict. But after Krennic rescues Galen, his wife, Lyra, and their young daughter, Jyn, from Separatist kidnappers, the Erso family is deeply in Krennic’s debt. Krennic then offers Galen an extraordinary opportunity: to continue his scientific studies with every resource put utterly at his disposal. While Galen and Lyra believe that his energy research will be used purely in altruistic ways, Krennic has other plans that will finally make the Death Star a reality. Trapped in their benefactor’s tightening grasp, the Ersos must untangle Krennic’s web of deception to save themselves and the galaxy itself.

So, it seems Jyn (Felicity Jones) is going to be familiar with Krennic when the events of the movie kick off, which could well lead to a very interesting confrontation as the story progresses. Also, does this mean Mikkelsen’s Galen Erso will only appear via flashback? It would explain why we’ve seen even less of him than Mendelsohn’s character.

We don’t have too much longer to wait until all is revealed, as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set to hit theatres on December 16. While you wait, be sure to familiarize yourself with some of the film’s characters by checking out the video below.