Who is Sergeant Jyn Erso of ‘Rogue One’ explained

Rogue One. Image courtesy StarWars.com
Rogue One. Image courtesy StarWars.com /

Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is the star of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Jyn lived a short life but left behind a rich legacy. Her heroism became a source of inspiration for the Rebel Alliance as a whole, particularly for Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). The plans that Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor, and every hero of Rogue One sacrificed their lives to retrieve paved the way for Luke to destroy the Death Star and ensure that Jyn’s efforts didn’t go to waste.

What was Jyn Erso’s Childhood Like?

Most of Jyn Erso’s life was spent struggling to survive in a harsh world where the Empire was a constant presence. Initially, she had a stable childhood and lived with her parents, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) and Lyra Erso (Valene Kane). Galen worked on Project Celestial Power, which he believed was a research project to learn how to use Kyber Crystals as an alternate energy source. Later on, when it was revealed to Galen that the project was a coverup for work on a superweapon that may potentially destroy entire worlds, Galen took his family into hiding. With Saw Gerrera‘s help, they shifted to the planet of Lah’mu. Jyn’s life on Lah’mu was peaceful until Galen’s once friend Orson Krennec found the Ersos a few years later, shot her mother, Lyra, and took Galen into custody.

Jyn’s struggles to survive under the Empire

For most of her life, Jyn believed that Galen abandoned her. It wasn’t until years later that Jyn learned the truth about her father: He was forced to work for the Empire by Director Orson Krennec (Ben Mendelsohn) and helped develop the Death Star. Jyn, in the meantime, was raised by Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), a freedom fighter who taught her how to fight. She became a part of his Partisan group until she was a teenager when Saw abandoned her. It was the second time in her life that she felt abandoned by a parental figure. The next few years of Jyn’s life were spent using aliases to commit various crimes and survive. Her crimes included forgery of Imperial documents. However, Jyn never harmed innocent people. Though everything that happened to her left her bitter towards the people in her life, deep down, she was kind and caring.

Jyn’s road to the Rebel cause

Jyn ended up in prison on Wobani but was broken out by Ruescott Melshi of the Rebel Alliance in 0 BBY and sent to Jedha. This was ordered by Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) herself, and it set off a series of events that led to Jyn joining the Rebel cause. However, she was skeptical of the Rebel Alliance initially and had no interest in joining it. That is until Saw showed Jyn a Hologram message recorded by Galen that warns her about the Death Star and reveals his unwilling involvement in its construction and its fatal flaw. Shortly after this, Galen Erso dies, and Jyn decides that the Death Star’s construction plans have to be retrieved at all costs. Although the Rebel Alliance is reluctant to help her, Jyn and her Rebel friends, including Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), agree to join her on a mission to Scarif to retrieve the Death Star plans. After a harrowing battle, the team called Rogue One beams the plans to the Rebel ship Profundity just in time. Everyone on the mission, including Jyn and Cassian, perished when the Tarkin ordered that Death Star destroy the Imperial base on Scarif.

Jyn Erso’s Legacy

Jyn Erso became an inspiration for the Rebellion from that point on. Rebel leader Mon Mothma stated once, “In a kinder universe, she would have walked away from Scarif. I cannot imagine who she would have become, but I think she would have been extraordinary.” Many in the Rebel Alliance began to look up to Jyn as a hero and a Martyr, and Luke Skywalker, who would eventually use the Death Star’s weakness to destroy it, was so inspired by the story of Jyn and the heroes of Rogue One, that he named his Starfighter group Rogue Squadron to honor its heroes. He retired the callsign “Rogue One” to honor Jyn and everyone who perished alongside her during the Battle of Scarif.

Perhaps the most significant proof of Jyn’s legacy is the eventual destruction of the Death Star, all thanks to her determination to topple the Empire, even if it meant giving up her own life.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is streaming on Disney+.