Explaining Felicity Jones’s Rogue One Character, Jyn Erso, Who Is Not Rey

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Don’t let the accent fool you. Photo: Jonathan Olley/2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

There’s a new Star Wars movie on the way, which is a phrase we’ll say every year until our planet’s crust peels off into a billion little meteors that bathe the solar system with flickers of brief light before fading into the void. It’s called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and you may have noticed that its posters have a distinct lack of any actors you remember from the existing flicks in the franchise. There’s a stony-eyed woman who towers above them all, visually declaring her importance in the film. Her name is Jyn Erso, she’s played by Felicity Jones, and if you’re wondering what her overall deal is, allow us to briefly lay it out for you.

Okay, what’s her overall deal?
She’s a good-hearted and flinty outlaw in the Star Wars universe who gets recruited by the Rebel Alliance to steal the plans for the Galactic Empire’s planet-destroying Death Star.

Is she Rey from The Force Awakens?
No.

Are you sure?
Yes.

I dunno, she looks and sounds a lot like Rey.
True, but that’s just a confusing coincidence. Jones and Daisy Ridley (who played Rey) are both slender English brunettes with pale skin, but the characters are not the same person.

Isn’t this movie set before The Force Awakens? And wasn’t there a whole thing about how Rey didn’t know who her mom was? Could Jyn be Rey’s mom?
There was early speculation that that might be the case, but Ridley has pretty firmly said Jyn is not Rey’s mom, if for no other reason than that the timing of their ages doesn’t make sense. It’s possible that they’re genetically related in some way, but we don’t have any evidence of that. Look, if you don’t believe me about all this Rey/Jyn stuff, just ask Jones, herself:

Is she related to anyone interesting?
If you think Mads Mikkelsen is interesting, then absolutely! The delicious Dane plays Jyn’s dad, a scientist named Galen Erso. He was taken by the Empire when Jyn was just a wee babe, and now he’s being forced to help them build the Death Star. The Rebels seek Jyn out partly because of her connection to him.

What’s Jyn’s background?
To paraphrase someone who didn’t like Star Wars: She’s just a poor girl from a poor family. She was raised on an inhospitable planet and she’s been on her own since she was very young. (Yes, just like Rey. Lucasfilm knows what it likes in its heroines.)

What does she do in the movie?
She joins up with a motley group of folks that the Rebels have assembled in order to swipe those Death Star plans we were talking about, so that the Alliance can destroy the superweapon. She also seeks out her dad along the way.

She’s the hero of a Star Wars movie, so that means she’s a Jedi, right?
She is not, no. There actually aren’t any Jedi in this movie, as far as we know.

So is she a Rebel soldier?
Not exactly. The Rebels get her onboard with their last-ditch scheme, but that appears to be the first experience she has with the group.

Is she a Han Solo–esque wiseacre?
Nah.

Is she an ingénue?
Lord, no.

Is she a tough-as-nails loner who plays by her own rules?
Now you’re getting it.

Why is she wearing Imperial armor in some of the promo images and trailers?
She and a couple of her compatriots infiltrate the Empire in sneaky costumes, of course!

Why do people in space have English accents?
Shhh, too many questions.

Explaining Rogue One’s Jyn Erso, Who Is Not Rey