We still don't really know that much about Rogue One, even though it's only a few months away, and we know even less about Jyn Erso's mysterious history. However, new info from the Rogue One prequel novel has just confirmed that we'll be learning some very interesting things about her family before the movie releases.
As part of today's merchandise-unveiling extravaganza, a new synopsis has been released for James Luceno's Catalyst, a novel set prior to the events of Rogue One, and it's given us confirmation of just who Jyn's father, Galen — played by Mads Mikkelsen — really is:
War is tearing the galaxy apart. For years the Republic and the Separatists have battled across the stars, each building more and more deadly technology in an attempt to win the war. As a member of Chancellor Palpatine's top secret Death Star project, Orson Krennic is determined to develop a superweapon before their enemies can. And an old friend of Krennic's, the brilliant scientist Galen Erso, could be the key.
Galen's energy-focused research has captured the attention of both Krennic and his foes, making the scientist a crucial pawn in the galactic conflict. But after Krennic rescues Galen, his wife, Lyra, and their young daughter, Jyn, from Separatist kidnappers, the Erso family is deeply in Krennic's debt. Krennic then offers Galen an extraordinary opportunity: to continue his scientific studies with every resource put utterly at his disposal. While Galen and Lyra believe that his energy research will be used purely in altruistic ways, Krennic has other plans that will finally make the Death Star a reality. Trapped in their benefactor's tightening grasp, the Ersos must untangle Krennic's web of deception to save themselves and the galaxy itself.
So yes, as many have expected pretty much since Mikkelsen spilled the beans that he played Jyn's father, Galen Erso did indeed work on the Death Star superweapon — but not entirely willingly.
The interesting addition here is not just a mention of Lyra Erso as Jyn's mother (a name first heard in casting calls, and assumed as the name of Felicity Jones' character — so perhaps Lyra may make an appearance in the film after all), but also the fact that Krennic and Galen Erso were old friends before the Death Star project tore their friendship apart.
Suddenly, Jyn's quest to take down the Empire's biggest weapon has gotten a lot more personal. Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel is due for release November 15.