- "Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director."
- ―Darth Vader, to Krennic
Orson Callan Krennic was a human male who served in the Galactic Republic as a Lieutenant Commander. After the Galactic Empire was formed, Krennic was promoted to commander and later the fleet equivalence of admiral. He also served as Director of the Advanced Weapons Research division of the Imperial Military during the Galactic Civil War. As an old friend of Galen Erso, he manipulated him into researching crystals for the Death Star's energy weapon without his knowing, hoping it would excel him above his rival, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin. He was responsible for the security of the Death Star project, and commanded a squad of death troopers, wielded as his personal weapon against the Rebel Alliance.
During a battle between the Galactic Empire and the Alliance, Krennic met his end on the planet Scarif, where Tarkin deployed the Death Star to eliminate the Empire's military base in an attempt to prevent the Death Star plans from being extracted.
Orson Callan Krennic was a human male born in Sativran City on the planet Lexrul in the year 51 BBY. At the age of fifteen, he earned a place in the Galactic Republic's Future Program on Brentaal, wherein he met and befriended fellow student Galen Erso. Although his listed area of excellence was architecture, his counsellors noted that Krennic's ability to manipulate and read others was just as effective. After graduating from the Program, he rose to the fore in the Republic Corps of Engineers, which led to him supervising large onworld and deep space construction projects - this increased influence allowed Krennic to land Erso a visiting professorship at the Institute of Applied Science.
Constructing the Death StarEdit
Krennic grew to become a member of the Republic's Strategic Advisory Cell, and, despite publicly still being represented as a member of the Corps of Engineers, only those within the cell were aware of Krennic's involvement as a member of the top-secret Republic Special Weapons Group. As part of this group, Krennic returned to studying, particularly in regards to the weapons Rothana, Kuat and others had built for the Grand Army, and Baktoid, Hoersch-Kessel Drive and others were engineering for the Separatists.
At a meeting discussing the schematics for the Death Star obtained by the Republic during the First Battle of Geonosis, it was argued whether the Republic could create such a weapon before the Separatists were able to - a basic ring structure had already been completed, however, problems arose when it came to the labor force responsible for its construction, as well as the superweapon that would give the station its devastating power. Krennic met with Mas Amedda to discuss the weapon, within which Krennic suggested using the work of his former colleague Galen Erso. With Erso imprisoned by the Separatists on Vallt, Amedda agreed to letting Krennic arrange for his rescue, yet Krennic had to do so without making the Republic's involvement clear.
Rescue on ValltEdit
Krennic enlisted the help of smuggler Has Obitt to travel to the planet of Merj, where they and a team of other smugglers captured two Separatist Morseerian scientists. Going to Vallt disguised as employees of Zerpen Industries, the company that Galen Erso belonged to, Krennic arranged for the two scientists to be received by the Separatists in exchange for Galen, Lyra and their daughter Jyn Erso. Upon making their way off the planet, they were intercepted by a Separatist warship. Krennic called for assistance from Commander Prakas, who arrived in a Republic cruiser and opened fire on Vallt, destroying the Keep where the Ersos had been kept, much to their distaste. In an attempt to persuade Galen to leave his strictly pacifist ways, Krennic took them to Galen's home planet of Grange, where war had ravaged much of the life there... Galen, however, maintained his resolve to stay neutral in the Clone War: Krennic knew that Galen would have to mostly come to his own decision based on knowledge as opposed to being quickly and simply persuaded.
Rebirth of the Geonosian hiveEdit
Upon return from Vallt, Krennic arranged for a meeting with Geonosian archduke Poggle the Lesser who was prisoner to the Republic. Using his knowledge of the Geonosians from his studies as part of the Strategic Advisory Cell, Krennic appealed to Poggle and the work of his hive in the construction of the Droid Army and the Death Star plans. Knowing that the hives on Geonosis would turn back to their native barbaric infighting at the lack of their Archduke and any construction projects, Poggle agreed to assist in the construction of the battle station.
Not long later, Galen Erso came to Krennic with plans for an energy facility project the two could embark on together, which Krennic promptly declined. Mas Amedda arranged for a meeting with Krennic to discuss his unauthorized attack on Vallt and his interrogation of Poggle, yet Krennic's overall progress towards the creation of the Death Star won him Amedda's favor. Krennic then attended a Futures Program reunion, where he witnessed Galen Erso be accused of siding with the Separatists for not actively assisting with the Republic since his capture on Vallt, much to Krennic's approval.
Krennic joined Poggle back on his home planet of Geonosis, where he endured observing days of gladiatorial games in the Petranaki arena, held in celebration of Meckgin. Here, Poggle announced that the hive would be constructing the Death Star, following which the Geonosians cheered and returned to intensified combat.
The troubled birth of the Death StarEdit
Poggle reasoned that making the drones perform work beneath their skill level would increase their ultimate output - despite not being entirely sold on this philosophy, the Geonosians began making significant progress on constructing the Death Star, which soon went from resembling a ring to a gyroscopic shape. In an attempt to bring more favor from Galen Erso, Krennic arranged for espionage charges against him to be dropped - Krennic reasoned that gaining more favor from Erso would make him more likely to join the Death Star project when Krennic revealed it to him, and that in turn would give Krennic more influence in the Republic and lead to Krennic not having to report to Wilhuff Tarkin, whom he despised. Krennic contacted Galen and informed him of a job at Helical HyperCom at a large production facility on Lokori, in an attempt to have the mundane nature of the facility, as well as the continuous Separatist attacks on the planet, lead Galen to become more desperate for a fulfilling job.
Woken up one night by his com-link, Krennic was suddenly informed that the Death Star's infancy was in jeopardy, with the Geonosian drones turning back and destroying their three months worth of work as well as the marines who occupied the facility. Poggle revealed that he had given the drones the order to rebel, and escaped to return to Count Dooku, dealing a massive blow to Krennic's reputation.
Project Celestial PowerEdit
Not long after Krennic's betrayal by Poggle the Lesser, the Clone Wars ended, and the Republic was now the Galactic Empire. Krennic met with the Erso's on Kanzi following news that Galen had been offered a permanent administrative position on Lokori. Krennic then offered Galen a position as part of Project Celestial Power, which Krennic implied would have the primary focus of bringing power to planets ravaged by the Clone Wars—Galen accepted this position and would work on Coruscant in a new facility.
Galen Erso began intense research on the kyber crystals Krennic had provided him with, whilst Tarkin met with Krennic in a shipyard in Kartoosh—here, Krennic explained the potential power of the Death Star, which Tarkin regarded with mild skepticism, as well as announcing his plans to select certain worlds for the exclusive mining of resources essential to the construction of the Death Star. Tarkin found favor in Krennic's promises, and allowed Krennic to overreach his authority in order to gain the resources needed and put them tighter into Tarkin's own grasp. Krennic would use Has Obitt and other smugglers to perform smuggling operations which would require the Empire to take complete control over mining corporations—this would give Krennic the resources he needed and turn the smugglers against the Empire, which Krennic could later use to his advantage to oppose anyone who tried to circumvent his advancement of power.
Lyra Erso grew wary of the Empire's true intentions for Project Celestial Power and the Empire, and informed Galen of this. Krennic had access to surveillance recordings, and grew wary of Lyra's influence on Galen.
Disaster on MalpazEdit
In attempts to weaponize Galen's research, a research facility on Malpaz had exploded, leading to a massive loss of life and a mass exodus on the planet. Krennic worked to ensure it was interpreted as an attack. Following this, Krennic again met with Mas Amedda—in the face of disapproval, Krennic suggested having his rank be raised in order to give the impression that the project is going much smoother than it truly was. Krennic suggested being promoted to Rear Admiral, but he was simply promoted to the lower rank of full Commander.
Krennic met with the Erso family following a discussion Lyra had with a former colleague of Galen Erso, who believed that Krennic was responsible for the incident on Malpaz. Krennic suggested to Lyra that she may need to take a break from parenting and go back to exploring as she used to do.
With Lyra out of the equation, Krennic called Galen to meet with him in private. Here, Galen mentioned doubts Lyra had, as well as his own. Galen was shown the world of Malpaz, and Krennic claimed that it was an attack by those who wish to bring instability through sowing chaos into the Empire. Galen was upset to see his work being attacked by those who solely wanted to ruin the lives of others. Krennic had maneuvered Galen to his side, and Galen agreed to work more intensely but under complete secrecy from anyone, including Lyra.
Creation of the superweaponEdit
With Galen in his grasp, Krennic then sprung a trap on Tarkin. Has Obitt had been angered by the destruction he had indirectly caused by following Krennic, and staged a rebellion alongside Saw Gerrera against the Imperial occupation of the Salient system and Zerpen Industries headquarters. Knowing Tarkin would not back down through fear of making the Empire look weak, he was preoccupied while Krennic was able to advance his plan without Tarkin claiming any involvement. During this battle, Galen's research advanced, and Krennic was able to get a prototype weapon created. From aboard a Star Destroyer, Krennic had the superweapon tested. The weapon was aimed at two black holes known as The Hero Twins so as to prevent any incident similar to what happened on Malpaz. At Krennic's command, the weapon was fired, and its collimating beams raced into the two black holes: a successful weaponizing of Galen's research, ensuring his and Krennic's place in history. Lyra returned to Galen from her expedition on Alpinn, but she found him difficult to communicate with, as if under immense pressure. Krennic had given the task of taking her to Alpinn to Has Obitt, who Krennic had learned had showed her the destruction of the worlds he was involved in smuggling for on behalf of Krennic. Krennic informed Lyra that her disruption of Galen's research would set back the project massively, and that there could be trouble for her and her family if she was to prove fatal to his research.
Elated with success, Krennic went to meet with Project Celestial Power workers on Hypori. Here, a former colleague of Galen and friend of Lyra Erso named Reeva Demesne inquired about what exactly they were working on, as the scale of their project was unlike anything seen before. Krennic came under scrutiny, as he was accused of using their research for the creation of a superweapon and their destruction was ordered.
Racked with concern over not being given specific updates from Krennic and being obsessed with his advancement of kyber crystal research, Galen realized he had been neglecting his child Jyn. Lyra then met with Galen, realizing they were under surveillance following Krennic's prior threat to their family - she had tried to contact Reeva Demesne, but she was no longer listed as an employee, nor were various other workers and friends. Lyra had a friend from her journey to Alpinn known as Nari Sable relay data to them from Malpaz and Hypori, and found evidence of destruction at Imperial hands as opposed to anarchists, despite Galen being told by Krennic that anarchists were to blame for the destruction he saw. They arranged a meeting with Krennic, wherein they raised questions over the devastated planets and Reeva. Krennic interpreted the meeting as a trap—he left, and made plans for the possible removal of Lyra and Jyn from Galen's life. On his journey back, Krennic received a transmission from Tarkin, regarding the arrival of Has Obitt on Coruscant. Krennic assumed that Obitt had planned on revenge, and perhaps the retrieval of the Erso's off of Coruscant. Krennic raced back, only to find that Obitt had arrived with none of the Erso family in sight—they had vanished from under his nose in another location with the assistance of Saw Gerrera, and slipped from Krennic's grasp. Krennic was demoted by Amedda back to his Lieutenant Commander rank—angered, he vowed to find the Ersos again, leaving no stone unturned. Meanwhile, he would make what progress he could, whilst being observed and overseen from afar by Tarkin.
Finding Galen ErsoEdit
- "We were on the verge of greatness. We were this close to providing peace, security for the galaxy."
"You're confusing peace with terror."
"Well, we have to start somewhere."
- ―Orson Krennic and Galen Erso
Years later, Krennic found the Ersos stowed away on Lah'mu, living a simple farming life. Galen agreed to rejoin Krennic claiming that Lyra had died and he had little else. However, Lyra attempted to stop Krennic from taking him away. After failing to convince her to drop the weapon, Krennic ordered his death troopers to execute Lyra, though not before taking a blaster bolt to the shoulder from her just as she was cut down. Krennic was again rejoined with Galen, whilst Jyn Erso escaped.
The Death Star's completionEdit
Destruction of JedhaEdit
- "Oh, it's beautiful."
- ―Orson Krennic, on the destruction of Jedha City
Many years after having Galen join the Empire, the Death Star was finalized. Krennic agreed to meet with Tarkin to showcase its power, and unleashed a test-fire of the weapon on Jedha City, bringing to ruin a key base of resistance operations led by Saw Gerrera, and one of the last remnants of the Jedi. Impressed by its power, Tarkin announced that he would now be in control of the Death Star. This enraged Krennic, who protested that the Death Star was his great work. Tarkin, however, countered with the revelation that a pilot had defected from the Empire with news from Galen Erso's development division about the creation of the Death Star. Still seething, Krennic left to deal with the defector personally.
Crisis on EaduEdit
Krennic arranged for a meeting with Galen Erso and his scientists - Sirro Argonne, Rasett Milio, Vlex Onopin, Ames Uravan, and Feyn Vann - on Eadu. From among the scientists, he asked the scientists who was a traitor to step forward. Upon nobody coming forward, Krennic ordered their immediate execution - Galen intervened, telling Krennic that he was the one who revealed the information. Krennic had the scientists killed nonetheless, and knocked Galen to the ground, before the two were attacked by the Rebel Alliance, in an ambush that killed Galen Erso and led Krennic to flee.
Struggle for influenceEdit
- "I delivered the weapon the Emperor requested. I deserve an audience to make sure that he understands its remarkable… Potential."
- ―Orson Krennic, to Darth Vader
With Galen Erso silenced, Krennic sought to reclaim control of the Death Star from Tarkin. However, he knew that the only way for him to supplant the Grand Moff was to gain the favor of the Emperor. Determined to be granted an audience, Krennic's opportunity came when he received a summons from Darth Vader to come to his personal retreat on the planet Mustafar. Despite his fear of the mysterious Dark Lord, the Director knew that Vader had direct access to the Emperor and could potentially petition to grant him an audience.
Traveling to Mustafar, Krennic was greeted by Vader on a platform overlooking the volcanic landscape of the planet. The Dark Lord expressed his concern that the Death Star had become more of a problem than the solution it was meant to be, citing Krennic's inability to keep the project a secret. The Director defended himself and the project, claiming that he had delivered the weapon the Emperor had requested. He requested from the Dark Lord an opportunity to personally meet with Palpatine to insist that the Death Star was ready and had the power needed to destroy any resistance to the Empire. Vader was far more concerned with the awareness that was growing around the battle station's existence. Rumors had reached the higher levels of the Empire of the destruction of Jedha City and the attack on the Eadu facility by the Rebellion. While Krennic tried to shift blame onto Tarkin for ordering the demonstration on Jedha, the Dark Lord was not impressed by this futile effort and reminded the Director that the secrecy behind the Death Star project was paramount, so as to prevent open defiance from the Senate. While Imperial authorities had managed to pass off the incident on Jedha as a mining incident, Galen Erso's betrayal could have been a bitter blow. Vader instructed Krennic to ensure that no other leaks had occurred, so that he could satisfy the Emperor that the project had not been compromised.
As the Dark Lord made to leave, Krennic foolishly made a last plea for his continued control of the project, asking whether this meant he was still in charge. However, Vader's patience had run thin. While Krennic asked him to speak to the Emperor on his behalf, the Dark Lord used the Force to start choking the Director. Krennic fell to his knees as Vader warned him to temper his ambitions lest they cause his downfall, before releasing him.
Battle of Scarif and deathEdit
- "The shield is up. Your signal will never reach the rebel base. All your ships in here will be destroyed. I lose nothing but time. You, on the other hand, die with the rebellion."
- ―Orson Krennic, to Jyn Erso, only moments before their deaths
Learning that the Death Star plans on Scarif could be vulnerable to attack, Krennic went to talk to the General stationed there. Upon arrival, Krennic was extremely displeased by what he saw. General Sotorus Ramda and his garrison had grown complacent and lax, trusting to the automated defenses of the Citadel to do their jobs for them. Brushing off Ramda's greeting, Krennic demanded that all content relating to Galen Erso be called up for inspection immediately. As he looked out onto Scarif, he suddenly saw explosions in the distance and realized they were under attack from the rebels. Whirling around to face the command center, Krennic bellowed for them to deploy the garrison immediately. Not long afterwards, Krennic was informed of a rebel fleet massing outside the shield and ordered the base locked down completely.
As the battle outside intensified, Krennic was horrified to learn from a lieutenant that the data vault had been breached. Realizing that the rebels were there for the Death Star plans and frustrated at the continued incompetence of the Scarif Deployment, the Director ordered his entire death trooper squad into battle to deal with the rebels, holding two back for his protection as he made his way to the data vault, determined to handle the situation himself. Entering through an auxiliary door, Krennic and his escorts found Captain Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso in the process of stealing the tape. In the subsequent shootout, both of Krennic's death trooper escorts were killed, but Krennic himself managed to shoot Andor. Presuming him dead, Krennic followed Erso to the roof of the Citadel Tower where she was attempting to transmit the plans. Holding her at gunpoint, Krennic demanded to know her identity, and was shocked beyond belief when not only did she reveal it, but also that she had just told the entire galaxy of a design flaw her father had deliberately built into the Death Star. Krennic sneered in response, stating that the plans would never reach the rebels and that she would die with the Alliance while he had only lost time. Before he could kill her, however, Andor, who was still alive, suddenly shot him in his other shoulder from behind, and he fell to the floor. Free of interference, Jyn then transmitted the plans to the Rebel flagship above, where they were received by Admiral Raddus.
As Erso and Andor left, the Death Star, commanded by Tarkin, arrived in orbit over Scarif. In an ultimately vain effort to prevent the theft of the battlestation's schematics, Tarkin ordered the Citadel Tower's destruction by the Death Star's superlaser. Krennic, injured and in pain on the tower's roof, looked to the sky and, to his horror, saw the Death Star looming over him; he had little time to reflect on the irony of being killed by the weapon he had spent nearly his entire life making. In his final moments, Krennic saw the flaw that Erso had spoken of: a single thermal exhaust port that led straight into the station's main reactor, which Galen Erso deliberately designed to be extremely unstable, as revenge against Krennic and the empire. The Death Star then fired, on a single-reactor ignition, striking the top of the tower and obliterating Krennic, before hitting the ground off in the distance. Erso and Andor, unable to escape in time, were themselves killed by the resulting explosion along with the base and everyone else there.
Days later, the Alliance attacked the Death Star above the planet Yavin, and one rebel pilot managed to destroy it by firing a pair of proton torpedoes into the thermal exhaust port, killing many Imperials (including Tarkin) and, ultimately, putting an end to Orson Krennic's aspirations once and for all.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "We stand here amidst MY achievement! NOT yours!"
- ―Orson Krennic, to Wilhuff Tarkin, claiming credit for the Death Star
Orson Krennic was a human male with short gray hair, blue eyes, and light skin. He wore a white Imperial military uniform, similar to those used by members of the ISB, like Colonel Wullf Yularen, with an unusual addition of a white cape not commonly seen on other Imperial officers. Krennic sought to earn the favor of Emperor Palpatine, using his knowledge of the Empire's system to manipulate it and ascend in the Imperial hierarchy. He was known to be unpredictable and volatile. During his time as part of the Futures Program, Krennic was renowned for his "nocturnal carousing" and partying, as well as frequently coming to Galen's rescue to ward off his tormentors. He had a high opinion of his own skills and felt that he deserved respect. He was not afraid to go toe-to-toe with other highly placed officials of the Galactic Empire, such as Mas Amedda and Darth Vader, though, in the case of the latter, quite foolishly. He even had the audacity to make a direct request of Vader, for an audience with the Emperor no less, and ask if he could be put in charge of the Death Star, which led the irritated Sith Lord to Force-choke him.
Krennic was devoid of many human qualities such as compassion, mercy and regard for innocent lives, as he ordered the destruction of the ancient Holy City just to ensure that the superlaser was working; additionally, he remarked on the subsequent cloud of flame and smoke as something of beauty, unremorseful of having just murdered hundreds of innocent people. He was also dismissive of the Force and its importance in the galaxy, speaking of having just destroyed the last remnants of the Jedi with undisguised pride. He also ordered for the execution of the scientists on Eadu despite Galen having just admitted to being the traitor among the development staff. He also showed at least some sadism, as after knocking Galen to the ground, Krennic proceeded to gloat about his use of the Death Star in the destruction of Jedha City, specifically noting every element of Jedha City, including Saw's Partisans, being gone as a result. He was also shown to be somewhat sarcastic, especially when irritated with his underlings incompetence, as upon witnessing the explosions triggered by the Rebel forces alongside everyone else in Citadel Tower, Krennic bluntly yelled to the present personnel (who were still staring out towards the area the explosions were at) "Are we blind?!" before ordering the deployment of the base's garrison to drive off the attackers.
Behind the scenesEdit
Orson Krennic is portrayed by Ben Mendelsohn in the Star Wars Anthology Series film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Mendelsohn's casting in the film was first announced on August 15, 2015 and the character was revealed in the first teaser trailer for the film on April 7, 2016. His name was revealed on May 17, 2016 in a preview of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: The Official Visual Story Guide in the Edelweiss catalogue
Krennic was originally conceived by John Knoll as a character for the unproduced Star Wars live-action TV show, but the series was put on hold indefinitely. The character in Knoll's original story draft was a double agent in Jyn Erso's team reporting to Imperial Security Bureau.
Mendelsohn pondered if he should portray Krennic with a "posh English accent": Rogue One director Gareth Edwards responded he didn't need to. "It feels like if the Empire ever have a job vacancy, they go to the Royal Shakespeare Company to headhunt people," the filmmaker later commented. "I like the idea that Ben's character was much more working-class."
- Star Wars: Force Arena
- Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel (First appearance)
- Adventures in Wild Space: The Rescue (Mentioned only)
- Rebel Rising (Mentioned only)
- Lost Stars (First mentioned; albeit indirectly)
- "The Voice of the Empire"—Star Wars Insider 170
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story novelization
- Star Wars: Rogue One: A Junior Novel
- Star Wars: Rogue One: Secret Mission
- Rogue One, Part I
- Rogue One, Part II
- Rogue One, Part III
- Rogue One 6
- Star Wars Battlefront (DLC)
- Star Wars: Commander (Mentioned only)
- Aftermath: Empire's End (Mentioned only)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 'Rogue One': 16 New Photos from the 'Star Wars' Film. Entertainment Weekly (June 23, 2016). Retrieved on June 23, 2016.
- ↑ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story novelization
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- ↑ 'Rogue One': Exclusive Details on All the New 'Star Wars' Characters. Entertainment Weekly (June 22, 2016). Retrieved on June 23, 2016.
- ↑ https://moviepilot.com/p/rogue-one-star-wars-underworld-series/4182137
- ↑ The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- ↑ Truitt, Brian (2016-10-25). The Empire strikes back in 'Rogue One'. USA Today. Retrieved on October 27, 2016.