ByEleanor Tremeer, writer at Creators.co
MP staff. I talk about superheroes a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it.
Eleanor Tremeer

Rogue One is probably Star Wars' most compelling film yet: Set just before A New Hope, this Star Wars story will show a different perspective on the vicious galactic civil war, telling the tale of a group of rebels who stole the plans to the Death Star. Each character in the film has a rich backstory and complex motivations as to why they joined the fight against the Empire. Slowly, Lucasfilm are revealing these details, but there's one character who they've so far kept suspiciously schtum on — and this character is played by Mads Mikkelsen.

Rumored to be the architect of the Death Star itself, Mikkelsen's role in Rogue One could be the most important of the film, and thanks to Star Wars Celebration, we finally have some details about this mysterious genius.

The Rogue One panel was probably the biggest event of the convention last weekend, revealing plot hints galore — and at least one accidental spoiler. Along with the rest of the cast, Mads Mikkelsen attended the panel, and what he had to say changed everything we thought we knew about the film.

In Pursuit Of A Beautiful Mind

Before asking Mikkelsen about his character, Gwendoline Christie — who hosted the panel — confirmed once and for all that yes, Mikkelsen is playing Jyn Erso's father. His name is Galen Erso, and we finally have an official image of him.

Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso [Lucasfilm]
Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso [Lucasfilm]

According to Mikkelsen, Galen plays a pivotal role in the plot of Rogue One. In fact, it seems as though he's the person the Empire are really after, as he may hold vital information that could turn the tide of war.

"My character is a person of interest. A lot of things are revolving around him."

Mikkelsen's use of the phrase "person of interest" definitely makes it seem as though Galen isn't exactly in the Empire's good books. And that might be because he used to work for them, until he realized the destructive potential of his own creation.

"But he's a scientist and he at one point invented something so beautiful, so fantastic, that it could have changed the universe."

The Death Star in 'Rogue One' [Lucasfilom]
The Death Star in 'Rogue One' [Lucasfilom]

Considering all those rumors about Galen's role in the Death Star project, it's surprising to hear Mikkelsen describe Galen's scientific work as "beautiful" and "fantastic". What exactly is the nature of this technology that he invented? Is it a component of the Death Star? And if so, how could it possibly have a beneficial effect to "change the universe"?

A Troubled Relationship With Jyn

Mikkelsen's comments are sure to spark the fires of speculation, and we can't wait to see how his character will develop throughout the film. Considering his daughter Jyn was described by Mon Mothma as "alone from the age of fifteen", it seems likely that whatever Galen invented, and whatever role the Empire played in that, Jyn had a problem with it. This may have caused the two to become estranged, resulting on Jyn having to survive on her own.

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso [Lucasfilm]
Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso [Lucasfilm]

This fits perfectly with the themes of Star Wars, as the original trilogy featured probably the most troubled relationship between a father and his offspring that we've ever seen. The smart money's on the relationship between Jyn and Galen being one of the main emotional threads throughout the movie, as Jyn is forced to reunite and reconcile with her father.

For now, this is all speculation, but after Star Wars Celebration it's safe to say that Mads Mikkelsen's role in Rogue One will be nothing short of crucial.

Do you think Galen Erso designed the Death Star?