ROGUE ONE characters:

Jyn Undercover…

Rogue One is an ensemble story, but its central figure is Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), a young woman recruited by the Rebellion to infiltrate the Empire and secure details of its latest weapon – a moon-sized battle station we know as the Death Star. Here we see her in disguise, armed for conflict inside an Imperial corridor. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy says Jyn starts as an outlaw and “becomes a kind of Joan of Arc in the story.”

Krennic Schemes for Dominance

Ben Mendelsohn’s Director Orson Krennic is responsible for protecting the security of the Death Star project, but he’s also a manipulator within the Empire. “He understands the system and he knows how things work, but he also is not above trying to bend it to get what he needs or what he thinks he wants,” says Kiri Hart, Lucasfilm’s head of story development. Krennic is intended to be a contrast to Imperial officers we’ve seen before, like Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin. “Tarkin is the model for these really cool, icy types, you know?” Hart says. “Krennic runs a little hotter than that, so that’s kind of fun and it’s a little bit different. … He is unpredictable and volatile.”

Rest for Baze and Chirrut

Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen (Ip Man) plays Chirrut Imwe, a blind warrior monk who is not a Jedi but follows the path of the Force, and Chinese martial-arts actor and director Jiang Wen (Devils on the Door Step) co-stars as Baze Malbus, Chirrut’s Force-doubting rough-and-tumble protector. Like the original Star Wars, these characters owe a debt to the two peasants from a 1958 Akira Kurosawa adventure saga. “They’re inspired, again, by what inspired George in The Hidden Fortress, “ Kennedy says. “You could even say to some extent it’s, you know, R2 and C-3PO, a little bit of that.”

K-2SO in Detail

Here’s a full-body shot of the newest Star Wars droid — a security robot known as K-2SO (Kaytoo Esso), who is voiced and performed via motion-capture by Alan Tudyk (Firefly.) Compare his gunmetal gray surface to the shimmering plating of “Goldenrod” C-3PO, and you’ll see the difference between a utilitarian droid like Kaytoo and a protocol droid like Threepio. Kaytoo wasn’t built to socialize. He’s as brusque and blunt as he is strong. “He has a very dry delivery,” Edwards says. “He doesn’t realize what he’s saying is very funny.”

The Surly Pilot

We don’t yet know what kind of craft he’ll be maneuvering, but Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler) will costar as the Rebel squad’s lead pilot, Bodhi Rook. “He’s a very experienced pilot. Flies a lot of cargo, one of his key jobs,” Kennedy says. “And he tends to be a little tense, a little volatile, but everybody in the group really relies on his technical skills.”

Jyn Erso

We’ve seen father and son stories play out in Star Wars movies before, but Rogue Onewill present a father/daughter tale. Jyn mission is personal, since her father, Galen (Mads Mikkelsen), is a scientist whose knowledge is being sought by both the Empire and the Rebellion. Producer John Knoll, the Industrial Light & Magic VFX pioneer, came up with the plot and from the start he wanted the lead character of Jyn Erso to be a woman. “I’m a father with three daughters, and I felt it was time to have a really good, smart, resourceful, strong female character in the lead of a movie like this,” he says, before adding: “I wrote that before I saw a treatment for Episode VII, so I didn’t know about Rey.”

Captain Cassian Andor

Diego Luna (Y Tu Mamá También) plays Capt. Cassian Andor, a Rebel stalwart who anchors the loose cannon Jyn. “He’s an intelligence officer and he’s got quite a bit of combat experience,” says Kennedy. He’s the quiet type, but that’s a soldier’s trait of not wanting to talk about the things he’s seen. “He has a weariness that he carries,” says Hart. “It comes from, ‘We’re in it, I’m committed for the long fight, and it’s not something that I came to yesterday.’”

Chirrut Imwe

Donnie Yen’s blind warrior believes in the Force, even if he isn’t necessarily sensitive to it. One goal of Rogue One is to step away from the Jedi and Sith to explore the heroism of ordinary people. “The Jedi are pretty much extinct,” says Edwards. “It’s up to normal, everyday people to take a stand to stop evil from dominating the world.”

Baze Malbus

Jiang Wen’s Baze doesn’t believe in the Force — but he believes in Chirrut. He’s in the fight out of devotion to his blind, trouble-finding friend. “He understands Chirrut’s spiritual centeredness, but he doesn’t necessarily support it,” Kennedy says. “He supports what his friend deeply believes, but he’s much more of a pragmatic soldier.”

Saw Gerrera

This is the first example of a character from an animated Star Wars title crossing over into live-action. Forest Whitaker’s Saw Gerrera is a freedom fighter whose brutal tactics unsettle the Rebellion. During the character’s arc on The Clone Wars, a younger Gerrera learned that change and victory often come with horrific sacrifices. You can read all about his checkered history in EW’s special breakout on the character. One surprising detail from this new image: Gerrera has more hair than we saw in the trailer. It’s not clear if this is the result of the ongoing reshoots for Rogue One, or simply a change in appearance that he undergoes in the midst of the story.