Now would be a great time to do an analysis of the Rogue One trailer but that’s not what we’re going to do. Why? Well there are already probably hundreds of them and the only thing I can add to those is my opinion. You want that? It was great, as a fan that follows Star Wars new obsessively I got what was going on and and am super excited. I do however see some flaws, the most important being not letting the average viewer know the time frame of the movie. That being said even those people are excited by the trailer. There are two questions that people have had: Who is kneeling and who is the guy in white?
We’re going to focus on our guy in white and as a bonus offer a couple of ideas on who our “kneeler” is. Beware potential spoilers abound.
Who he is not
First off he’s not Thrawn. If Lucasfilm were to bring back Thrawn they’d keep him blue out of respect for the original character and its place in fandom. Yes Thrawn wore all white but he wasn’t the only one. This new character isn’t a Grand Admiral though, he’s either a High Admiral or Fleet though I’d go with High personally. How do we know? Based on this breakdown of insignia on wookieepedia.com.
So this character is probably a new High Admiral based on the fact that his insignia has 2 x 6 squares.
What we do know
He’s in the Imperial Navy based on how the Insignia is arranged, if he was a Moff his colors would be switched. There seems to be a good chance he is a member, perhaps leader of the Imperial Security Bureau(ISB). In the Legends EU the ISB wore white uniforms or white tops with brown pants. The ISB is canon as evidenced by Agent Kallus in Rebels, though to be fair Kallus does not wear white. But I do suspect he is in ISB for one big reason. He appears to be tracking down the stolen data tapes (presumably the Death Star plans) that are in the hands of the rebellion:
The first two images show our heroine “Jyn Erso” with what appears to be stolen data tapes (via Starwarspost.com). The third shows us what appears to be the aftermath of the battle in the second image. Our new villain is chasing down our rebel friends. This sounds like a job for the ISB, tracking down the persons responsible for stealing top secret information, does it not? We can also reasonably assume he is on of the main villains for the film mainly because according to leaks he’s one of the characters featured on Hasbro’s action figures for the movie.
— Justin LaSalata (@justinlasalata) February 17, 2016
I am assuming that Lucasfilm will continue to create characters for these films we have not met and when they do use characters we know they will be VERY familiar. I mean Mon Mothma doesn’t change her style for over 6 years based on this trailer. So this character will be new to the universe, which is a very good thing.
Bonus: Speaking of bad guys, who is this guy in the black robe that appears to be kneeling?
I suspect they are reporting to Vader not the Emperor . I know the Imperial Guards imply the Emperor is there but I also think they would give Vader added weight when he shows up. Plus we know he shows up
— First Order Podcast (@FirstOrderPod) April 8, 2016
The column is a version of the meditation room that Vader had on his Super Star Destroyer in ESB. So who is the guy kneeling? The way I see it, there are four reasonable scenarios:
- He’s our man in white with a different cape. Probability 5%
- Its Vader with a hood to hide him from us. Probability 1%
- This is a Rebel traitor that uses the hood to hide his/her identity Probability 44%
- Its yet another new character Probability 50%
I don’t think our friend in white is going to be hiding who he is so I don’t see him needing a hooded cape. Same with Vader, plus Vader is Iconic; if they were going to show him they would SHOW him. Now a rebel (like our general being condescending to Jyn) would need to hide himself so I could see this being very likely. The last idea is another bad guy we have yet to meet. A proto Mara Jade (or Emperor’s hand)? An Inquisitor? Someone else? all of these are possibilities and the more likely scenario. Why? Say it with me kids: New characters expand the universe, this creates new stories, this is a good thing.