Hello Jedi Masters, Sith Lords, Bounty Hunters, Smugglers and of course how could I forget, Nerf Herders, it is that time again where I attempt to pluck random Star Wars ideas and thoughts out of my head and try and collate in them into something legible.
Now, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is still very much on my mind, and I have so many other Star Wars subjects that I want to cover, but like the draw to the Dark Side, every time I sit down to start work on a new piece, Rogue One pulls me back, and here we are again. So this week I want to take a detailed look at the history of the visionary creator of the most feared Battlestation in the entire Galaxy, the Director of Advanced Weapons Research, Orson Krennic.
Orson Krennic History
Before the dark times, before the Empire, Orson Krennic was enrolled into the Galactic Republic’s Futures Program. This was an educational institute that the Republic had created to allow gifted youngsters that were selected, to flourish in their respected fields. Krennic’s field of expertise was in architecture, however his lectures on the Futures Program remarked that Krennic’s true strength was his ability to manipulate others. This capacity to make others do his bidding was instrumental in the construction of the Empire’s super weapon, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, there is still a lot more to cover.
After graduating from the Futures Program, Krennic became a very important part of the Republic Corps of Engineers. Here, Krennic supervised large deep space construction projects for the Republic, perhaps here is where Krennic began to dream of something like the Death Star. Krennic’s leadership (manipulation?) during these deep space constructions and his natural talent in architecture landed him a seat in the Republic’s Strategic Advisory Cell, which was created to oversee the Republic’s war effort against The Confederacy of Independent Systems, or to me and you, The Separatists.
To everyone outside of the Advisory Cell, Orson Krennic was still only a member of the Corps of Engineers, however, Krennic had actually become a member of the Republic Special Weapons Group, which was a secret agency which, as you could probably guess from its name, researched and created new weapons to help the Republic win the war. It was here at a meeting of the Advisory Cell that the Death Star was first spoken about, as the Republic had obtained the Battlestation’s plans from the first battle on Geonosis.
Orson Krennic sensed this was his way to shoot up the chain of command and after a meeting with Mas Amedda, it was not only agreed that Krennic could begin work on the Death Star (preliminary work had already started), but he could also rescue a gifted scientist from the Separatists. A man Krennic had met all those years ago in the Futures Program, Galen Erso.
After rescuing Galen from the clutches of the Separatists, things didn’t go to plan, which must have infuriated Krennic as this was a man who always got his way. Galen didn’t want to join Krennic in the Republic’s war effort. As a pacifist he wanted no part in creating anything that could take someone else’s life. Krennic always keeping a watch full eye on Galen, began construction of the Death Star by convincing Poggle the Lesser, Arch Duke of Geonosis, to build the Death Star for the Republic. Poggle agreed and construction started, but nowhere near as quickly as Krennic had wanted.
During the initial construction, Krennic offered Galen Erso a job at Helical HyperCom, a company that wanted to fix communication issues for planets which had suffered as a result of the Clone Wars. Galen accepted this offer, which pleased Krennic as he knew Galen would become bored of this mundane appointment. This was all after Krennic had a few erroneous charges of espionage against Galen dropped. Krennic knew this little favors here and there would eventually make Galen trust him without question.
While on the planet of Lokori, Krennic had indeed been correct about Galen’s feelings towards his new job. Not only did he not get along with his new employer, the job was far too simple for someone as intelligent as Galen Erso, and while the talented scientist was rotting away on Lokori, something far worse had started above Geonosis. Poggle the Lesser betrayed Krennic and had ordered his worker drones to destroy what they had started to build, while the Arch Duke made his escape back to the Separatists. Something happened that Krennic could not have predicted, the Clone Wars ended, and with the end of the war, also came the end of the Galactic Republic, as it was transformed, of course, into THE FIRST GALACTIC EMPIRE. The Republic Special Weapons Group was then turned into the Imperial agency of Advanced Weapons Research, and Orson Krennic’s dream of the dreaded Battlestation was alive more than ever.
Krennic then offered Galen a job working for Project Celestial Power, which Krennic made Galen believe was an initiative to restore power to planets that had suffered during the Clone Wars. Not only was this ruse the perfect way to attract Galen, he would also be working with the biggest fascination of his scientific career, the mysterious Kyber Crystals.
Galen became obsessed with his work, unknowing that is research would not be used to restore power to planets, but instead turned into a weapon to increase the Empire’s grip over planets. With a seemingly endless supply of Kyber Crystals (thanks to Krennic’s plan to use smugglers to deliver weapons to mining planets, only for the Empire to seize control once the weapons had been found) Galen’s research was going well. So well in fact, that a first attempt to weaponize his research was made on Malpaz, however this would turn out to be a disaster and the facility on Malpaz exploded.
After this rather unfortunate setback, Krennic met with Mas Amedda again to justify the Death Star project, and in a move which could be described as either brilliant or arrogant, Krennic suggested to the now Grand Vizier that he be promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral, to show that the project was going much better than it actually was. Krennic’s ballsy request was granted, but he was promoted to the lower rank of Commander, still not bad for someone who’s secret weapons testing facility exploded.
Lyra Erso, Galen’s beloved wife began to suspect that Orson Krennic had hidden agendas for her husband’s work, and because Krennic was a careful man and had numerous surveillance equipment installed, knew about Lyra’s doubts. To make sure she didn’t convince Galen of his true intentions, Krennic sent her on a bogus expedition to a far away planet in the Outer Rim, Alpinn. With Lyra temporarily dealt with, Krennic took Galen to the Malpaz facility and told him that the attack was carried out by terrorists. Seeing the destruction with his own eyes, Galen threw himself deeper into his work than ever before, and was told by Krennic that he can no longer discuss his work with any outsiders, which of course meant Lyra.
Krennic finally saw a successful test fire of the super weapon and was elated, finally, his creation was edging closer towards completion, but there was still much work to do, and in an attempt to scare Lyra off, he made an indirect threat to her, and her daughter Jyn. She would not be so easily stopped however, and after being shown the destruction of the Malpaz facility, Lyra then told Galen all her worries, and Galen eventually came around to this idea, and agreed they should meet with Krennic and voice their concerns.
After Krennic stormed out of this meeting, Krennic received a transmission from his superior, and rival Wilhuff Tarkin, that the smuggler (who Krennic used to smuggle the weapons to the planets Krennic needed the Empire to occupy, and the one who took Lyra to Alpinn), Hans Obitt was back on Coruscant. Krennic suspected that Obitt was on the capital world to rescue the Erso’s, however when Obitt came to meet Krennic, a friend, Saw Gerrera found the Ersos, and it was he that rescued them and took them into hiding.
Losing his chief scientist was obviously a huge blow to Commander Krennic, and he was demoted back to Lieutenant Commander by Mas Amedda, much to his fury. He vowed that he would find Galen and the Death Star would still be completed…on schedule.
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