The box office behemoth Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally brought fans back to their beloved galaxy far, far away, set 32 years after the events of Return of the Jedi. Anticipation is growing by the minute for the next sequel, Star Wars: Episode VIII, which is currently filming at Pinewood Studios in the U.K., and set for release next December. Later this year, though, fans will be transported back in time with the first spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is set between Revenge of the Sith and the classic that started it all, 1977's A New Hope. While we recently got to see the first trailer, there are still several unanswered questions about this spinoff, but thankfully, Lucasfilm's Pablo Hidalgo gave fans one surprisingly definitive answer about this adventure, confirming that a certain Star Wars villain definitely won't be seen in the movie.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens introduced fans to the next iconic villain in the Star Wars universe, Supreme Leader Snoke, portrayed through motion capture by Andy Serkis. Snoke is essentially the new trilogy's version of The Emperor, seducing young Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) to the dark side of The Force, which ultimately lead to Kylo Ren killing his father, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in one of Star Wars: The Force Awakens' most iconic scenes. Even though Rogue One is set decades before Star Wars: The Force Awakens, some had theorized that Snoke may make an appearance in this movie due to one shot in the teaser that shows a mysterious cloaked figure appraoching a tank flanked by the two Emperial Royal Guards, a rumor which Lucasfilm creative executive Pablo Hidalgo shot down. Here's what the executive had to say in a brief statement on his Twitter page.
"Snoke is not in Rogue One. Like, in any way, shape or form. This is a standalone movie."
Of course, Snoke's exclusion certainly makes sense, considering when Rogue One is set, but there have often been rumors that the movie will feature the iconic Darth Vader in some way. A report from January teased that Darth Vader and his Death Troopers will have pivotal roles in the Rogue One story, and the trailer's mysterious cloaked figure could either be Vader or possibly the Emperor. While he wouldn't reveal any specifics, Rogue One star Mads Mikkelsen teased in a recent interview that fans will be reunited with a few "iconic characters," along with plenty of new faces. Here's what he had to say when asked if it was possible that we'll get to see anyone familiar in Rogue One.
"Some of them - but I would reveal too much. There are iconic characters in our film and also characters you have never heard of. It's a mix."
This interview comes just one day after Mads Mikkelsen dropped quite the bombshell in another interview, revealing that his character is actually the father of Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso. The actor also dropped another spoiler during a convention appearance last year, where he signed a fan's poster that revealed his character name is Galen, which many have speculated is actually Galen Marek, a character from the video game Star Wars Unleashed. In the game, Galen Marek was an apprentice to Darth Vader before switching sides and joining the Rebel Alliance, but it hasn't been confirmed if Mads Mikkelsen is playing this character or not.
Other reports have liked Mads Mikkelsen's character to Robert Oppenheimer, who helped create the atomic bomb. These reports claim that Mads Mikkelsen is playing a scientist who is working on the Death Star, before leaving the Empire to make things right, by enlisting the help of his daughter, Jyn Erso. Naturally, none of this has been confirmed, but it does fall in line with the revelation that the actor is playing Jyn's father. We'll be sure to keep you posted with more on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as soon as we have more information, as we get closer and closer to the December 16 release date.