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The shield is up, your signal will never reach the rebel base. All you ships in here will be destroyed. I lose nothing but time. You, on the other hand, die with the Rebellion!
~ Orson Krennic's last words
We stand here amidst my achievement! Not yours!
~ Krennic realizes that Tarkin will claim responsibility for the Death Star

Director Orson Krennic is the main antagonist of the 2016 movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He is the Director of Advanced Weapons Research for the Imperial Military who desires to complete the Death Star for the Empire and his superiors, Grand Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader.

He was portrayed by Ben Mendelsohn, who also portrayed John Daggett in The Dark Knight Rises and Danny Rayburn in Bloodline.

History

The Death Star

We stand here amidst my achievement. Not yours!
~ Krennic, threatening Grand Moff Tarkin.

As work on the Death Star is stalling, Krennic is sent to retrieve former Imperial engineer Galen Erso. Krenic manages to locate Galen on a remote planet and headed there, accompanied by a squad of Death Troopers. When Galen confronted the approaching Krennic, Krennic revealed his intentions to Galen. He also sent his men inside Galen's home, intending to use his wife Lyra and his daughter Jyn as hostages to ensure Galen's cooperation. When Lyra turns up, Krennic welcomes her as well. However, Lyra draws a gun and shoots at Krennic, hitting him in the shoulder. Krennic in turns orders his guards to open fire and the Death Troopers kill Lyra. Unable to find the young Jyn, Krennic and his men leave the planet with Galen.

Many years later, the Empire kept Jyn as a prisoner, until she escaped with the help of The Alliance. Orson was later present when Grand Moff Tarkin tested his Death Star. Under Tarkin's command, Orson was to choose the target location. The weapon was tested on Jedha with success, and was meant to destroy its Rebel Alliance, led by Saw Gerrera. He later got into a brief argument with Tarkin as the latter took command of the Death Star for security reasons. Krennic claimed the city of Jedha's destruction dealt wit the security leaks, but Tarkin indicated that the leak came from Galen Erso's facility on Eadu.

Orson later flew to Galen's research center, and informed that one of the scientists is a traitor. Upon nobody coming forward, Krennic ordered their immediate execution, but Galen admitted he was the traitor, and not any of his scientists. Regardless, Orson orders all of Galen's scientists to be killed and hits Galen on the face, knocking him to the ground. Jyn however came to save Galen, but he is killed during the battle, forcing Krennic to escape. Krennic then met with Darth Vader, who discussed with him the matters of the Death Star, and the priority to destroy the rebels.

Scarif Battle

Ordered by Vader to make sure that the Death Star would be fully functional and without safety concerns, Krennic directly headed to the research center on Scarif where he tried to find Galen's plans and send them to Tarkin. However, his arrival coincided with the rebel attack on the base, with the Rogue One unit attempting to steal the plans from the base and transmit them to the nearby Rebel armada. After spotting several detonations near the base, Krennic sent his troops outside where they engaged the rebel troops in battle. Although his men seemed to lose at first, Krennic then sent out his personal guard squad, the Death Troopers, outside who then turned the battle in favor of the Empire.

Meanwhile, Krennic had been alerted that someone was accessing data from within the base and immediately headed there with two of his guards. He found Jyn and Cassian Andor who attempted to escape with the plans. Krennic and his men opened fire and managed to hit Andor while he was climbing up the lift to the base's antenna. Andor fell down and remained on the floor motionless.

Pursuing Jyn who had reached the antenna, Krennic headed up with the lift, eventually confronting Jyn who was about to send the Death Star plans to the rebel fleet. Aiming his gun at Jyn, Krennic demanded to know who she was and Jyn replied that he already knew her as the daughter of Galen Erso. Jyn also told him that he had lost, claiming that she had already sent the Death Star plans to the fleet. However, Krennic replied that the shield was still operational, preventing any message or broadcast from leaving the planet, and that the few rebels still on the planet would be dead soon along with her as well. Krennic then raised his gun to shoot Jyn, but was shot instead by Andor who had managed to reach the antenna platform on his own. Wounded, Krennic fell to the ground and Jyn managed to transmit the Death Star plans to the Rebel fleet after they destroyed the shield. When the two fled the base while leaving Krennic on the roof, Krennic looked up to see the Death Star approaching Scarif. Krennic realized that Tarkin intended to destroy the base and everyone within, but was unable to flee. Krennic was killed when the Death Star had fired its main laser at Scarif and crippled the Citadel Tower. As a result, the Scarif base was destroyed, killing all Rebel and Imperial forces stationed there. Despite Krennic's death, his vow to have Jyn killed came true as Jyn and Andor both perished in the base's explosion, though their deaths were not in vain as they embraced each other for their successful mission before accepting their fate.

Krennic's creation was indeed a truly powerful weapon, but at the end of the Battle of Scarif, Krennic's desire for power eventually lead to his own destruction. He was killed by his own creation, although it should be noted that Tarkin did carry out the order to do so.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Krennic's insignia at the start of Rogue One is different to the rest of the movie. At this stage of his life he had different rank, that of Commander, when kidnapping Galen and was not necessarily Director of Advanced Weapons Research yet.

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