October 27, 2016
'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' Won't Feature This Villain, Lucasfilm Confirms

Seemingly every week, a new Star Wars fan theory hits the web, either suggesting dubious connections between the upcoming episodes in the saga or expanding upon some minor detail to find what may or may not actually be hidden meaning. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been no exception, generating its own raft of theories meant to connect it with both The Force Awakens and the iconic original trilogy. A Lucasfilm representative recently gave a surprisingly forthright answer in regards to one of these fan theories, however, directly addressing a rumor that normally would go unheeded.

Almost as soon as the Rogue One trailer hit the web, fans fixated upon a brief shot near the end of the clip that showed a hooded figure kneeling in front of what appeared to be a bacta tank. This scene was particularly notable because of two red-robed figures standing in the background, who haven't been seen onscreen since Return of the Jedi: Emperor Palpatine's royal guardsmen.

The identity of the individual in the tank, as well as the kneeling figure, quickly became an object of heavy speculation amongst Star Wars fandom, with theories ranging from the sensible to the absurd, as CinemaBlend notes. Chief among these theories was the idea that the individual could be either Emperor Palpatine, or in a potentially dramatic twist, the First Order's Supreme Leader Snoke, injured in battle decades before the events of The Force Awakens.This rumor quickly gained traction, as it would have established a link between the events of Rogue One and The Force Awakens, and given context to Snoke's involvement with the Empire. One of the most mysterious characters in The Force Awakens, Snoke's background is almost a complete mystery. When asked directly about the theory on Twitter, however, Lucasfilm creative executive Pablo Hidalgo shot it down, noting that the individual in the trailer is definitively someone other than Snoke.While the Snoke theory effectively died with that tweet, fans can take solace in the fact that they apparently will see several characters from the original Star Wars trilogy during the events of Rogue One. As the Inquisitr previously reported, it has been widely rumored that Darth Vader will play some role in the film, though that has yet to be officially confirmed. Speaking in a recent interview, however, actor Mads Mikkelsen addressed the idea of older characters returning, noting that fans would be reunited with several from previous Star Wars films.
"Some of them - but I would reveal too much. There are iconic characters in our film and also characters you have never heard of. It's a mix."
Meanwhile, Mikkelsen also made headlines earlier this week when he revealed that the character he plays in Rogue One is none other than the father of Jyn Erso, the film's female protagonist. Reports had previously suggested that he would play a scientist involved in the construction of the Death Star, or an Imperial turncoat aiding the Rebels, as MovieWeb notes.

With the confirmation that Snoke won't be appearing in Rogue One clearing one theory from the annals of the internet, fans are now left to wonder which villains will indeed be featured in the movie. Luckily, they have little time to wait, as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16.

[Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney]