Warning: Minor spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ahead. Read at your own risk.
Disney's wasted no time building up the Star Wars universe, with new movies firmly set for release through 2019 as well as a slew of new novels and comic books that take place within the same continuity. As we saw with author Chuck Wendig's Star Wars Aftermath: Life Debt, those books can reveal some major hints regarding the film franchise's future, and it looks like we'll see more of that in the next Star Wars book.
Gear-up for Rogue One with out trailer breakdown:
Del Rey Books has released the official synopsis for author James Luceno's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story tie-in novel Star Wars: Catalyst, and it reveals some major connections between the villainous Imperial officer Director Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) and the family of hero Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones). As the synopsis reads:
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.
We haven't learned much about the relationship between Rogue One's hero and villain, but as the synopsis reveals they have quite a bit of history. And that backstory could provide the perfect personal touch to make the spin-off's drama stand out.
History Dating Back To The Clone Wars
Fans will recognize the synopsis's nods to the Republic and Separatists as a reference to the Clone Wars, meaning the book will take place a while before Rogue One. That's a crucial factor in building the relationship between Krennic and Galen — and by extension, Krennic and Jyn — that we'll see play out in the film.
The Clone Wars period is such a cool point in Star Wars lore because it was a time when good and evil weren't so clearly defined. In the Original Trilogy it was obvious that the Rebels were the good guys and the Empire was evil, and that holds true between the Resistance and the First Order in the sequel trilogy. But the Clone Wars represent a murkier time period, with a so-called galactic Republic inching closer towards an Empire while the Separatists were being manipulated by Chancellor Palpatine — the future Emperor — to fight a war. Not even the Jedi could determine what was truly going on until it was too late.
That murky line between good and evil provides a great basis for Krennic and Galen's friendship, and the scientist's willingness to join the Death Star project. You can understand why Galen would choose to join his old friend's questionable project during a time when it wasn't easy to tell the difference between right and wrong. And as we know, that decision will have massive consequences on the fate of the galaxy.
Are you a huge Star Wars fan? Check these out for more:
- The Emperor Strikes Out: No Darth Sidious In Rogue One Will Allow Orson Krennic To Shine
- Could Jyn Erso Become A Groundbreaking Star Wars Character By Dying In Rogue One?
- Rogue One Is Winning The Merchandise Game With These Videos Full Of Plot Hints
Strengthening Jyn's Rebel Ties
It sounds like the book will also work as a sort of origin story for Jyn Erso. While it appears Galen and Krennic are the story's main characters, we'll likely get a good look at Jyn's upbringing, explaining her motivations for joining the Rebel Alliance in Rogue One.
It's pretty obvious she wasn't just randomly picked for the mission to steal the Death Star plans. She has a personal stake in its success considering the Death Star's ties to her dad. Moreover, it's reasonable to guess that Jyn grew to resent Krennic after he "saved" her family.
It sounds like we'll see the relationship between Galen and Krennic grow toxic during Catalyst, and as a firsthand witness to her father's fall it would make sense for Jyn to seek revenge by targeting his former friend. The backstory provided in the book will add some serious personal stakes to the conflict between Jyn and Krennic, upping the drama we'll see in Rogue One.
Star Wars: Catalyst will hit bookstores on November 15, with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story set for release on December 16. What do you think of Jyn Erso's ties to Director Krennic? Let us know in the comments below.