A couple of weeks ago, we reported that the legendary Darth Vader will return in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, not just a cameo of some sorts, but will take an active role played by British actor Spencer Wilding. Just recently, more details have surfaced regarding yet another role in the Star Wars spin-off that may probably lead to some interesting plot details.
In a recent interview with Sky News, Rogue One star Mads Mikkelsen revealed some pretty mild spoilers on the details of his role. Mikkelsen understandably danced around the story of Rogue One, but eventually gave in and dropped a bomb that shattered previous speculations about the role he’ll be playing with. Watch his interview below.
Mikkelsen first teased on his role last September when he signed a poster for a Star Wars fan using the name ‘Galen’, hinting on the name of the character that he will be playing in Rogue One. Since then, there has been a lot of speculation regarding his role, one which has been extensively talked among Star Wars circles. One theory has it that he will be playing Galen Marek – an apprentice of Darth Vader that went by the alias ‘Starkiller’. But this theory eventually became defunct when Mikkelsen revealed who Galen is during his interview with Sky News.
As it turned out, Mikkelsen will play the pivotal role of Jyn Erso’s father – the main protagonist and femme fatale in Rogue One played by Felicity Jones. During last year’s D23 Expo, Mikkelsen also described his role in the story as “a very important role, as much I can say. [My] character is actually not a bad guy, and then I cannot say more.”
His recent confession to Sky News, and the somewhat redeeming aspect of his character, confirms what has been mentioned before by Jason Ward on MakingStarWars.net sometime last January. According to Ward,
“Mads Mikkelsen (Galen appears to be his name in the film) is kind of the key to the film in a way. He is a scientist that took over the Geonosian Death Star project. He solved several of the flaws the Empire could not and is sort of a revered person in the Empire for his contributions. However, Mikkelsen’s character is a Robert Oppenheimer-type character. Oppenheimer helped design the atomic bomb only to say, “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” The guilt “Galen” feels for his contributions to the Empire become too much and he defects, attempting to make things right. In order to do this, he enlists the help of his only daughter…”
Though Mikkelsen has been so often cast in the role of the villain, his role as Galen in Rogue One spells out the difference between success and failure of Jyn Erso’s band of rebels. Now that he has revealed his familial ties with Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso, it is most likely that Mikkelsen’s Galen will be instrumental in the successful heist of the blueprint for the first Imperial Death Star. His intimate knowledge of the inner workings and designs of the Death Star is key in not just winning the battle against the Empire, but also redeeming himself in the eyes of his daughter. As you may recall in the first Rogue One teaser, Mon Mothma (played by Genevieve O’Reilly) has described Jyn Erso as being on her own since the age of sixteen, plus a brief assessment of her impetuous, rebellious character. It is not clear though if Jyn’s ‘independence’ was of her own accord, or was she and the rest of her family was deserted and abandoned by Galen. We may not know entirely until we see Rogue One sometime in December. But if there is something we can really be sure about is that Mads Mikkelsen’s character will be ultimately remembered in Star Wars fandom, not for his contribution in building the infamous Death Star, but the pivotal role that he played in its eventual destruction.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.