Lucasfilm has excluded all the expanded universe material from canon, which includes the comics, novels and video games. They’ve said they would cherry pick characters and plots for their own use, giving the impression they would be totally different if they are used for new films, books, comics and even the canonical cartoon Rebels.
We’ve seen this practice directly impact Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren aka Ben Skywalker Solo is a combination of legacy characters Ben Skywalker (son of Luke) and Jacen Solo (son of Han and Leia) that featured in the novels.
There is some speculation that Rey could be Luke’s daughter replacing both his son Ben Skywalker and Jacen’s twin sister Jania Solo. Lucasfilm has stated repeatedly the main saga films would always be a Skywalker story and it’s unlikely that Kylo will be the only Skywalker in these new films.
As much as this might pain the few who are desperately praying for them to move along from the Skywalker saga.
It’s said some of her origins could be explored in Episode 8.
Kylo might not be the last cinematic adaptation of a legacy character reworked from the novels for the movies.
Let’s talk a little bit about the new Rogue One trailer.
The new heroic figure is a Rebellion spy and is going to likely play both sides in the film. An interesting curveball is Forest Whitaker’s mysterious character alluding in the trailer she could end-up working for the Empire if they turned her.
Then there’s a shot of her in a full Empire uniform, is she just undercover or has she switched sides?
Of course, Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso could be a completely original character, but Lucasfilm seemingly centres all these anthology films around one or two legacy characters in the heroic lead role.
The Han Solo movie will focus on him and Chewie, with a Boba Fett headlining his own feature and a possible Obi Wan Kenobi standalone adventure in the future as well.
Having the main lead of Rogue One another legacy character isn’t hard to believe. It’s not totally out of the realm of possibilities that Jyn is some reworked version of one of the most popular female legacy characters from the novels.
Mara Jade The Hand of Emperor, who eventually turns from the dark side to the light as Mara Jade Skywalker.
She is telepathically linked to the Emperor becoming his assassin, which might lead to a brainwashing element in her switching sides. After Return of The Jedi the link is severed and she becomes a smuggler where she bumps into Luke and they eventually fall in love, marry and have a son Ben.
Mara is killed by her nephew Jacen after he turns to the dark side, Kylo and the Knights of Ren anyone?
Now there has been a lot of assumptions that Jyn could maybe be Rey’s mother, there’s a huge maybe there, but if she is some sort of version Mara Jade it could happen. I’m personally not really that concerned with Jyn becoming Rey’s mother.
People have pointed out that the Star Wars universe having all these connections makes the universe small, not untrue, but they’ve said they wanted to mimic Marvel’s cinematic universe and connecting all these characters would speak to that MCU blueprint.
We did see Tony Stark’s father Howard Stark in Captain America: The First Avenger hand Steve his iconic shield and nobody really whined about that connection.
Originality hasn’t been a huge thing with Rogue One, iconic characters Darth Vader and Mon Mothma are now key figures in the story. This is also the fourth time the Death Star or a version of it has been the crux of the plot in a Star Wars film, let’s not kid ourselves it’s starting to get painfully repetitive.
There’s been rumors for a while now that Ben Mendelsohn might be playing Grand Moff Tarkin, another villain from the original film. Even though his uniform looks to be that of a Grand Admiral, not unlike Thrawn. Maybe it’s not even the Emperor who turns Jyn, it could be Ben’s character if he has these similar abilities.
Lucasfilm, while including original supporting characters, are adding many legacy ones to connect it to New Hope in the biggest way possible. Having the main role turn out to be another legacy character isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination at this point.
Granted they’ve stated no jedi would be in the film, and that could hold true if Jyn is just force sensitive like Finn in The Force Awakens. Becoming something more like the Inquisitors from Rebels at the end of Rogue One.
There’s already speculation that this cloaked character might somehow be related to the show, that’s if it’s not just Vader in a cloak.
This could set her up an as a background antagonist for the other anthology films like the Obi Wan spin-off, so the studio isn’t so reliant on having Darth Vader show up every time.
Then again, Jyn could be an original character, but it’s hard to believe that without seeing the film for ourselves. Knowing how the studio has been desperately trying to connect this film to the existing universe and could easily creative new versions of characters like Mara Jade for a project like Rogue One.
Do you think Jyn is a legacy character and she might turn out to be a villain at the end of Rogue One?