Are Diego Luna and Ben Mendelsohn Star Wars: Rogue One’s New Heroes and Villains?

Today we have new word on some casting for the Star Wars Anthology film set for release next year. Set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Rogue One is a gritty war film in the vein of Zero Dark Thirty that chronicles the mission of a Rebel Cell tasked with stealing the Death Star plans.

So, who’s going to be in this Rebel Cell?

At the moment, only Felicity Jones is confirmed to be in the cell and will be acting as its leader. However, word on the street is that actors Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler) and recently announced Diego Luna (Elysium) will be joining her mission to steal the Death Star’s blueprints. Expect more actors to be announced soon, as Rogue One is most likely going to be an ensemble film much like The Dirty Dozen.

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What roles will Ahmed and Luna’s characters be playing?

At the moment, we don’t know. While this is a war movie, it will probably also have elements of heist films. Therefore it’s pretty easy to muse that each of these characters will have a particular skill set they bring to the team.

For example, in films like these you may see certain characters that fill rolls such as the sniper, the demolitions expert, the second in command, the intelligence officer, the tech guy, the rogue (in this case smuggler), the pilot, and so on and so forth. Depending on the nature of the job and how large they want the cast we could have a very diverse roster of Rebels on screen. What roles Ahmed and Luna’s characters will fill is up for debate, though we’ll know more as production ramps up and details trickle out.

What about the villains?

Veteran character actor Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises) is rumored to be playing the antagonist. The most likely role for him would be an Imperial Officer such as a Grand Moff.

Ben Mendelsohn

Could he be Grand Moff Tarkin?

With a little make up it’s possible, but unlikely. Mendelsohn certainly has the chops to mimic Peter Cushing’s Tarkin but Star Wars isn’t yet the kind of franchise that is in the habit of recasting roles. We’ll probably see him as an all new officer, though his exact rank and relation to the Death Star project is unknown if that is in fact the case.

What else will we be seeing from the Empire?

Given that our heroes are trying to steal Imperial documents, they will be coming up against plenty of resistance from their military. That means we’ll most likely see classic stormtroopers, probe droids, Star Destroyers, and other military equipment from the Original Trilogy. It will be the first time we see any of it in the theater since Return of the Jedi in 1983.

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