The first trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story teased new characters and the early stages of the destruction of the Death Star. A few clues show how this take on the story might connect fan-favorite characters from the Expanded Universe: Kyle Katarn and Admiral Thrawn.
The latest Rogue One trailer seems to offer a new telling of the events leading up to Star Wars: A New Hope, which opens with Princess Leia giving R2D2 the stolen Death Star plans, which are later used to destroy the space station. The hero of Rogue One is Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), a Han Solo-esque rogue who joins the Rebellion mission after meeting Mon Mothma.
The other characters seen in the trailer remain unknown to us: Diego Luna’s Rebel captain, Ben Mendelsohn’s Imperial Grand Admiral, and the motion capture droid played by Alan Tudyk. However, combined with some knowledge of the Expanded Universe, including Star Wars novels and the video games, we can make some guesses as to who these people might be.
One theory suggests that Diego Luna’s character could be Kyle Katarn, the fan-favorite hero from Star Wars video games like Dark Forces and the Jedi Knight series. Katarn is a former stormtrooper who joins the Rebellion and steals the Death Star battle plans that we see at the beginning of A New Hope. Of course, these stories are no longer considered canon, and Rogue One is rewriting that history. But Katarn could stay part of the Star Wars saga if Luna’s character is revealed to be him.
Also, Katarn works with a female partner who’s a Rebel ex-smuggler named Jan Ors. Jan Ors… Jyn Erso. That lines up a little too close to just be coincidence.
Another connection to Jedi Knight is the droid character, rumored to be played by Alan Tudyk. It appears behind Jyn Erso early in the trailer, then later, behind her and Luna’s character as they run through what looks like a Death Star tram platform.
Not much is known about this droid, but fans have pointed out how similar it looks to 8T88, a droid from the Jedi Knight games. 8T88 is not a “good guy” in that storyline, so the Rogue One production team may have just used its design to build an entirely new character.
Ben Mendelsohn’s character is another mystery whom fans think may be inspired by the Expanded Universe. In the trailer, Mendelsohn wears a long white cape and Imperial badge insignia that suggest he’s the rank of Grand Admiral, a position not yet seen in the movies that outranks even A New Hope‘s Grand Moff Tarkin. Fans are speculating this character may be a version of Grand Admiral Thrawn, the blue-skinned Imperial antagonist from the novels Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command.
Thrawn is a fierce military genius, and his stories were so interesting that many consider him to a major reason people stayed interested in the Star Wars franchise through the 1980s.
Of course, Rogue One may go an entirely different direction and reveal each of these characters as entirely new faces to the Star Wars canon, like The Force Awakens did with Rey, Finn, and Kylo Ren. Hopefully the next trailer will give us more details. Until then, the footage we’ve seen so far suggests at least a few parallels between the Rogue One cast and some of our favorite elements of the Expanded Universe.
Make sure to check out New Rockstar’s video breakdown of the Rogue One trailer for more analysis and predictions.