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Rogue One’s Director Orson Krennic is a ‘working-class villain’

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He’ll be different from what fans are used to

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the prequel to 1977’s Star Wars, and as such, many of the actors had questions about how their characters should appear in the film.

In an interview with USA Today, director Gareth Edwards said that when he first talked to actor Ben Mendelsohn about the role of Director Orson Krennic, an Imperial officer and commander of the Death Trooper army, Mendelsohn asked if he should take on an upper-middle class British accent. Mendelsohn pointed out that in the original trilogy, members of the Empire’s most senior positions tended to have Shakespearean, posh accents and as a character who was trying to get into similar standings, that seemed to make the most sense.

Edwards, on the other hand, disagreed and said that he liked the idea of Krennic being different from the other Imperial officers and figures Star Wars fans have seen over the years.

“It feels like if the Empire ever have a job vacancy, they go to the Royal Shakespeare Company to headhunt people,” Edwards told USA Today. “I like the idea that Ben’s character was much more working-class” and rose in the ranks ‘through sheer force of personality and ideas.’”

We know that Krennic isn’t in Darth Vader’s inner circle and views him as a form of competition. Edwards addressed that, and said that because he’s different from the rest of the officers and they won’t let him into the inner circle, Krennic has turned things into a “them or us” situation.

“[Krennic] hits a brick wall in the hierarchy where they won’t let him in the club and it’s going to turn into a them-or-us situation,” Edwards said. “Either Krennic or Tarkin and the others.”

Rogue One follows a young woman, Jyn Erso, as she joins the Rebellion and sent on a mission to find the plans for the ultimate weapon the Empire is building, the Death Star. The film stars Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Jiang Wen, Alan Tudyk, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed and Mads Mikkelsen.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters Dec. 16.