ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

(Warning: The following contains potential — albeit largely theoretical — plot SPOILERS for the upcoming 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,' as well as some light character details for its lead villain. Proceed with whatever level of caution your Jedi training suggests to you is wise.)

Now, amidst all of the big reveals relating to the increasingly imminent Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — whether shiny new images, possible controversial changes or even the arrival of Darth Vader himself — it would be easy to ignore one of the more intriguing things to emerge from EW's recent look at the movie. Specifically, the fact that...

It Seems Like We're About To See A Whole New Branch Of The Empire

Specifically, one led by that man just above, Ben Mendelsohn's Director Orson Krennic. Now, Mendelsohn's character was at one point heavily rumored to be a variation on the Expanded Universe's (fan-favorite) Admiral Thrawn (something which we now know to very much not be the case) but what we do know might actually be just as intriguing.

Y'see, according to EW's aforementioned report:

"[Krennic] an ambitious Imperial apparatchik who intends to use his squad of Deathtroopers to pulverize the Rebel uprising and ascend into the Emperor’s graces — while hopefully avoiding the wrath of his enforcer, Darth Vader."

Which, combined with his title being "Director" would seem to suggest that we're about to see a whole other branch of the Empire step into the light of day. The big question that raises, though?

Just What IS Krennic's Secret Branch Of The Empire?

After all, we don't actually have all that much to go on as of right now. We know that Krennic is ambitious — and from the looks of it, operates in a semi-civilian branch of the Empire, seeing as he doesn't seem to possess a military rank, yet has a spiffy white Imperial uniform — but not a whole lot else. Having his own squad of Deathtroopers suggests importance but doesn't necessarily mean that he's involved in their training, and may simply indicate a need for protection. Instead, a need for highly-trained guards, along with his fancy white uniform, might just imply a role in the security services. An Imperial CIA Director, perhaps?

If so, then it seems entirely possible that Krennic is in fact in charge of a sort of successor group to — or perhaps even a non-Jedi-related continuation of — the ISB.

Wait, Who Are The ISB Again?

Well, essentially, those guys, up above. As MP's own Eleanor Tremeer puts it:

"The ISB are a terrifying faction of the Imperial military: a Stasi-esque not-so-secret police force, the ISB specialize in surveillance, apprehending traitors, and keeping survivors of the Jedi Order good and oppressed."

With Star Wars Rebels' Agent Kallus being a member of the group, we already know that they're fully part of the new Star Wars canon. So, could we ultimately see Director Krennic turn out to be the groups shiny new leader in Rogue One? After all, with the Jedi seemingly defeated by the time of A New Hope (and, by extension, Rogue One), it may well have made military sense for the ISB to have been redeployed and to now be focused entirely on quashing the Rebellion.

If so, then the ISB might just be the obvious opponents for our new heroes in Rogue One and a natural place for an ambitious man like Krennic to make a play for power. Now all we have to do? Wait half a year to find out if it that logic is correct. In the meantime, though, anyone else feeling inclined to watch this again?

The really big question now, though?

What do YOU think?


Will Director Krennic be in charge of the ISB?

via EW


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