“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 when talking about Rogue One‘s villainous Orson Krennic, played by Ben Mendelsohn, adding, “I like the idea that Ben’s character was much more working-class [and came to prominence] through sheer force of personality and ideas.”
To this end, Edwards told Mendelsohn not to use the upper-class accent favored by Imperial officers in earlier Star Wars movies. (Mendelsohn apparently asked if Krennic should have “a very posh English accent,” according to the director.)
But apparently ideas can only take a would-be genocidal maniac so far, even in the Empire. Edwards revealed that, by the time Rogue One opens, 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: either Krennic or Tarkin and the others.”
Not only does this hint at an unfortunate fate for Krennic in Rogue One — after all, we know that Tarkin ends up in charge of the Death Star because of the original movie — it also gives the Empire even more reason to be hated: How could an evil intergalactic ruling body headed by a shriveled-up, despotic wizard not be a meritocracy?!
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released Dec. 16.