Rogue One: The Alderaan Connection

Rogue One will be released in just 3 months from today! Hard to believe it’s coming so fast. Meanwhile, we’ll have a new season of Rebels to tie us over starting next week. It’s a great time to be a Star Wars fan. Now, I would like to take a moment to ask the question of where the protagonist, Jyn Erso is from. Potential spoilers in what follows, so be careful!

I’m going to speculate today that Jyn Erso, and her father Galen Erso, are from Alderaan. You may have guessed that point from the title.

Before I begin, let me say that I haven’t seen anyone propose this, but who knows. It’s getting hard to keep up with all the fan speculation going on. Please let me know if you had this idea and posted it somewhere big, and I’ll cite you. With that out of the way, Let’s talk about the evidence.

making star wars
making star wars

Bail Organa

This is my weakest point, but worth mentioning. We all know that Jimmy Smits will be reprising his role as Bail Organa, who is a senator from, and first chairman and viceroy of Alderaan, among other important titles. His brief cameo could be for just a second, but it could also give a moment to have a connection with Jyn. This could be the basis for a brief sentence that could motivate Organa to introduce himself to Jyn. This is also the last movie (in chronological order) that takes place before Alderaan was destroyed, so this is a good opportunity to mention it and expand upon it.

Director Krennic confronts Galen Erso in a flashback scene
Director Krennic confronts Galen Erso in a flashback scene

The Look of the Planet

For starters, the planet seen in the couple of images that we have featuring Galen Erso being confronted by Director Orson Krennic. The images reveal a grassy hillside. There is possibly some darker hills or mountains behind them. If we cross reference this shot with the other shot of the death troopers, we see similar things, but a more clear shot of the mountains in the distance:

Death Troopers. source: Entertainment Weekly
Death Troopers. source: Entertainment Weekly

There is speculation from SWNN that this Death Trooper shot is from the same flashback scene featuring Galen Erso, and presumably at the beginning of the movie. The Entertainment Weekly article that released this image calls it a “tundra”, which can be defined as “a type of biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons” (from wikipedia).

If we then compare to images of Alderaan from Revenge of the Sith, we see the following:

End of RotS: Lucasfilm

Note the grassy hillsides. This could definitely be the same place, with Galen standing on a more rural part of the planet, far from the high tech city/castle. Although there is something called an “Alpine Tundra”, which would fit nicely with Alderaan, since(if I remember correctly)  these shots are from RotS are based on the Swiss Alps, which are an alpine tundra.


There is a lot of speculation that Jyn Erso is based on Jan Ors, from Legends material. In fact, the video game Dark Forces directly parallels the plot of Rogue One, and is likely to be at least part of the inspiration. Jan Ors was part of a more radical wing of the Rebellion before becoming main stream, which fits with Jyn being connected to Saw Gerrera before joining the more moderate part of the Rebels. It all fits. According to Legends, Jan’s father was an aerospace engineer, which fits Jyn’s father, Galen, being a scientist. What was their home planet? You guessed it: Alderaan.

So if they are to take this parallel of Jyn/Jan all the way, it would make sense that the Erso’s are from Alderaan.

Tarkin’s Motivation

When Tarkin destroyed Alderaan in ANH, it was kind of devastating for all. However, perhaps a deeper connection to Alderaan makes him seek vengeance upon this planet even more strongly. It could also be to cover his tracks and eliminate the location where the kyber crystal technology that was used to build the Death Star’s main weapon. Of course, it was also to really convince Leia to give the planet where the Rebels where located, but perhaps an even deeper connection with the Rebellion, like it being the home planet of the woman that first stole the plans, could motivate Tarkin even more.

Lor San Tekka?

So, this one is a one-off, but also worth mentioning. I have speculated in the past that Lor San Tekka is in fact an older Galen Erso, who changed his name to protect his identity. I’m going to go a step further and propose that if this is true, then that could be the reason why we’ve only seen Galen in the flashback is because in the time of the main events of Rogue One ( 0 BBY) his costume looks just like Lor San Tekka’s costume does at the start of The Force Awakens, thus they want to leave that hidden until later to not reveal the connection. Lor San Tekka says that “to [him], she’ll always be royalty” when referring to Leia. Could this be because he is from Alderaan, and hence a history with her as royalty? Why else would he say that if not due to being from Alderaan? Check out my article on this theory, and let me know if it seems plausible. I like it a lot, but at this point it’s anyone’s guess.

So what do you think? Could the Erso’s be from Alderaan? Leave your comments below.

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