Who Is Jyn Erso? 3 Theories About the Protagonist of 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'

by Max Farrow 2 years ago in star wars

Many theories are surfacing about who Jyn Erso really is and what lies ahead in 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'.

Who Is Jyn Erso? 3 Theories About the Protagonist of 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'

After the record-breaking release of Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens last year, Star Wars fever has intensified. Analyses continue to sprout up online and the hype train is being fuelled by the fact that the cameras are already rolling on the set of Episode VIII (with a release set for December 2017 — eek!).

But not content with all this excitement, Disney has caused a further spike of interest the release of a trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Details on the characters are typically well guarded, although Mads Mikkelsen recently let slip he'd be playing protagonist Jyn Erso's (Felicity Jones) father.

Take a gander at the trailer here:

Due out later this year(!) Rogue One, which charts the events prior to Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), sees the beleaguered Rebellion attempting to steal the plans for the Death Star. It’s a new venture for the franchise, delving into the New Expanded Universe and apparently away from people with the surnames "Skywalker" or "Solo," and into decidedly non-Force-sensitive territory.

And with rumors swirling that a certain Darth Vader will be making an appearance, Rogue One seems closely tied to the plot of the original trilogy.

But what of recent or future story lines?

Will we see allusions to the events of The Force Awakens and glimmers of what is yet to come?

The trailer for Rogue One lends itself to even more speculation, particularly about Jones' character, Jyn Erso, an angry young woman who joins the Rebellion.

But is she more than what she seems? Read on to find out.

Theory 1: Is Jyn related to Rey? Could she be her mother?!

OK, so this may stretch credulity a tad, but bear with me for the moment. Take a look at them both here:

Both have dark hair and striking good looks. At a young age both were thrust into a rebellion against a militarized force. Their life trajectories even mirror one another through their shared abandonment at a young age, seeing as Mon Mothma says that Jyn has been alone since she was 15. Like mother, like daughter?

Also, take a look at the timeline below:

With the theft of the plans for the Death Star, Rogue One must take place just before A New Hope (I’d say up to a year prior, tops).

Guessing from how old Felicity Jones is in real life, we could safely say that Jyn is in her mid-20s to mid-30s, and by that reckoning she’s not much older by the time of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) — that is, providing she survives at the end of Rogue One.

Again, accounting for how old Daisy Ridley is, Rey must be in her 20s, meaning that she was born roughly midway between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. She’s not the only character in a similar situation; in the new expanded universe, it’s revealed that Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaacs) was conceived shortly before the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi.

Yeah I know, it's a stretch, given that few women have a child past their mid-40s, but we can't dismiss this outright. After all, Star Wars is set in a galaxy where space monks fly spaceships, use swords made of lasers and can levitate things with their minds. Anything is possible!

And who knows? Maybe Luke gets to know Jyn through the Rebellion and things get a little steamy. Or maybe the father is someone in the trailer.

Theory 2: Is Jyn linked to the Death Star in some way?

In the trailer, Jyn is singled out to help the Rebellion recover the plans for the Death Star. Yet she appears to be a tad begrudging when she replies, “Yes, sir,” to the officer's line of questioning. She might simply resent him, authority in general, or the fact that (dun, dun, DUN!) she is being coerced into acting against her will or against someone she knows — perhaps a relative? We have yet to see Mads Mikkelsen in the trailer, and we know very little about his character or Ben Mendelsohn's for that matter:

Some have suggested that he's playing a slightly younger Grand Moff Tarkin (famously acted by the great Peter Cushing back in 1977), but what if the answer is something else? Could either Mikklesen or Mendelsohn's characters be her father? Or if not, is her father someone she knows and is being forced to work against? Or are they working with Jyn to bring down the Death Star?

Something struck me while watching the trailer, particularly about Mendelsohn's unnamed Imperial head honcho. Though some Imperials wear dark-gray uniforms, he is wearing lighter white/gray, which is often associated with Jedis or good characters. Mon Mothma is wearing similar colors earlier in the trailer, as is Luke Skywalker at the end of The Force Awakens.

Could this man have turned to the light side? Could he be an estranged friend or relative who is defecting to the Rebellion after being disillusioned by the power of the Death Star? And if so, does that explain why Jyn has been specifically chosen to carry out this mission? The plot thickens...

Theory 3: Is Jyn a young Captain Phasma?

OK, I know, this is the silliest one of these theories, yet like all of them, there is something to it. At the end of the trailer, we see Jyn in dark Imperial garb in a familiarly Imperial setting; again I was struck by the costume design, and with Forest Whitaker's character asking about what she might become, another idea came to mind: Could she somehow morph into Captain Phasma?

"What will you do if they break you? If you continue to fight, what will you become?"

But why would she turn against the Rebels, I hear you ask? Well, so far Rogue One does seem to be a murkier, more war-torn outing than the other Star Wars movies, so perhaps the Rebels double-cross her, or something bad happens in Rogue One that causes her to align with the Dark Side of the Force? After all, it happened to Vader!

Again, the timeline supports the idea of Jyn surviving through to the events of The Force Awakens (Luke, Han, Leia and Chewie do, after all) though she would be getting on a bit by then. But as Vader has demonstrated, there’s nothing like a scary voice changer to keep those storm troopers in line, and this would explain why she sounds younger and suspiciously like Gwendoline Christie in The Force Awakens.

Either way, it feel good to be speculating about Star Wars yet again!

star wars
How does it work?
Read next: Best Netflix Sci-Fi
Max Farrow

A fanatical film-watcher, hill-walker, aspiring author, freelance writer and biscuit connoisseur. 

These articles first appeared on Movie Pilot between Jan 2016 and Dec 2017. Follow me on Twitter @Farrow91

See all posts by Max Farrow