James Garcia has a theory that may answer one of the biggest gripes fans have with the Star Wars saga…
The final trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has finally been released (you can watch it in all its glory here), and it comes jam-packed with new footage and clarification about various story elements. The first – and possibly biggest – reveal is that Mads Mikkelsen’s character is not only the father of new rebellious heroine Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), but is largely responsible for creating the infamous Death Star.
As it turns out, Erso was not recruited by the Rebellion simply because she rebels, but because of her important parentage. Based on what we can glean from the footage, she and the rest of the Rogue One crew are tasked with finding her father.
While we know that the Star Wars saga loves its stories of Imperial parents and their Rebel children, I think there’s more to Mikkelsen’s character than meets the eye. As the man who designed the Death Star, does that also mean that he could have purposefully sabotaged it? By adding, say, a thermal exhaust port at the end of a long trench that leads directly to the space station’s reactor system, and is just big enough for a well-placed proton torpedo to blow the whole thing to smithereens?
That’s right, one of the most maligned coincidences in the entire Star Wars saga may be getting an official, canonical explanation for existing.
Based on what we see in the trailer, Mikkelsen doesn’t go willingly with Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn). In the opening shots, he’s seen speaking to a young Jyn, reassuring her that, “Whatever I do is to protect you” when Krennic and a squad of Death Troopers arrive on his doorstep.
The next time we see Mikkelsen, he’s in Imperial garb, meeting with Krennic in the rain. He, again, doesn’t look happy to see him:
Near the end of the trailer, we get our first real glimpse at Darth Vader, and then quickly shoot to a shot of Mikkelsen, kneeling down in the rain and looking up. While we’re lead to believe that Mikkelsen and Vader are facing off, I actually think that’s just some clever trailer editing, and that that shot of Mikkelsen is just an extended glimpse of the scene in the rain. Notice how wet Mikkelsen’s hair is, and he appears to be in the same Imperial uniform. You can even see Krennic in the foreground of the shot, though out of focus:
Looks like Mikkelsen is being held against his will, doesn’t it?
We’ve seen this kind of thing happen in film, and in our own history, many times over. One of the most famous examples of this is German physicist Werner Heisenberg, who many believe slowed the progress of the German atomic bomb on purpose during World War II, in an effort to keep it out of Hitler’s hands. If Mikkelsen’s character is doing the same, perhaps he also felt inclined to build some kind of fail safe, so that even if the Death Star did become fully operational (which we know it does), it could still be destroyed easily by the Rebel forces.
If this is the case, I’ll be curious to see how fans react to it. On one hand, it could be a cool explanation for what has been one of the biggest gripes Star Wars fans have about the first film in the saga. On the other, it could veer too far into Midichlorian territory, providing an answer for something in the series that doesn’t necessarily need further explanation.
We’ll know whether or not this theory holds true when Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters in our galaxy on December 16th 2016.