The new Star Wars film Rogue One is hopefully going to reacquaint us with one or two familiar faces (or at least helmets) – but it’s also going to introduce us to a whole lot of new ones. Like this guy (above), the Imperial officer glimpsed in the new trailer looking all broody, and immaculately dressed in a fetching white cape and tunic.
We know he’s Imperial not just from the sinister glowering and the fact that he’s in an expensive looking black chamber but also from the insignia woven into his jacket (probably denoting his rank, possibly awards for top brooding).
But who is this mysterious man, who can apparently walk on water? Not Jesus, we’re pretty sure of that…
The actor is Ben Mendelsohn, the 47-year-old Australian star who we already knew was playing an undisclosed part in the prequel. You may know him from such films as The Dark Knight Rises – where he plays John Daggett, the villain who employs Catwoman and Bane to help in his attempts to take over Wayne Industries – and possibly from Ryan Gosling flicks The Place Beyond the Pines and Lost River. On the small screen, he’s currently starring as Danny Rayburn, the eldest son and black sheep of the Rayburn clan, in Netflix thriller Bloodline, for which he received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
As to who his Star Wars character is, at this stage we can only speculate but considering he is standing in front of what may well be plans for the Death Star (well, it’s round) and looks kind of sciency in his white uniform, it’s very possible he’s the architect of the Empire’s planet destroying space station.
There is a theory circulating that this character could be the father of Felicity Jones’s Jyn Erso, which could explain another scene towards the end of the trailer in which she is seen wearing a uniform with an Imperial logo on it. If Jyn is the daughter of the man who designed the Death Star she would certainly be well placed to steal the plans for the Rebel Alliance who are aiming to blow it up (spoiler alert: they succeed).
So Mendelsohn might just be playing Felicity Jones’s dad – which, if another fan theory is correct, would make him the grandfather of none other than Force Awakens hero Rey…
Rogue One: A Star Wars story will be released on the 16th December