- "I'm Jyn Erso. Daughter of Galen and Lyra. You've lost."
"Oh I have, have I?"
"My father's revenge. He built a flaw in the Death Star. He put a fuse in the middle of your machine. And I've just told the entire galaxy how to light it."
- ―Jyn Erso and Orson Krennic
Jyn Erso, known by the aliases Kestrel Dawn, Jyn Dawn, Liana Hallik, Tanith Ponta, Lyra Rallik, and Nari McVee, was a human female soldier and former criminal who became a pivotal member of the Alliance to Restore the Republic when she led Rogue One in stealing the Death Star plans during the Battle of Scarif. She was the daughter of Lyra Erso, a devout member of the Church of the Force, and scientist Galen Erso, who was forced into helping the Galactic Empire build the Death Star. Erso's mother was killed when Director Orson Krennic, the commander of the Death Star project, kidnapped her father—who affectionately referred to his daughter as "Stardust." She was raised by resistance fighter Saw Gerrera and became a child soldier in his army.
After being abandoned by the Partisans, Erso spent several years on her own, committing a number of crimes in order to survive in a dangerous galaxy. In 0 BBY, she was recruited by the Rebel Alliance to find Gerrera on Jedha, where he had information about Galen and the Death Star project. She found a holographic recording of her father who confirmed the existence of the Death Star and that the plans kept on Scarif would reveal a fatal weakness he planted in its design. She attempted to save her father on Eadu, but he was killed. With little support from the Rebel Alliance, Jyn and Captain Cassian Andor led a squad, Rogue One, to Scarif where they stole the plans from the Imperial security complex. She transmitted the plans to the Alliance Fleet that arrived in orbit, but the Death Star soon fired on Scarif in an attempt to eliminate the Rebel threat. Erso and Andor were the last surviving members of their squad, and they died when the blast reached the complex.
Erso was remembered fondly by the Rebel leader, Mon Mothma, who believed that she would have become an even more extraordinary person had she survived. Her sacrifice was not in vain, however. The Rebel Alliance used the plans to discover the flaw Galen built into the battle station, and the weapon was destroyed by Luke Skywalker during the Battle of Yavin, starting a chain reaction which would see the doom of the Empire.
Jyn Erso was born on the Outer Rim ice planet of Vallt in 21 BBY during the Clone Wars to Galen Erso, a pacifist scientist working for Zerpen Industries, and Lyra Erso, Galen's wife and colleague in the company. Born within a Separatist prison due to her father's refusal to use his intelligence and knowledge of kyber crystals to help the Confederacy in their war against the Galactic Republic, Jyn spent approximately six months in the care of her mother and the caretakers of the complex. At that point, Jyn and her parents were unexpectedly ordered onto a carriage and sent to a spaceport where, to the surprise of her parents, Lieutenant Commander Orson Krennic of the Republic Navy, who Galen knew from their time in the Republic's Futures Program, was waiting to extract them and bring them to Coruscant.
For the next several months, Jyn lived in an apartment in Coruscant's Galactic City while her father looked for work. As the Clone Wars approached its end, Jyn's father was notified by Krennic that he had been offered a position in Helical HyperCom on the planet Lokori. Accepting the offer, the Ersos moved to the world and settled there while Galen worked on the company's renewable energy project.
In 19 BBY, after several attacks by the Separatists on the planet, the Confederacy launched a large assault on the Helical HyperCom facility and the surrounding area. With a large force of battle droids advancing on the complex, Jyn's parents fled the facility with her in a carrier into the surrounding settlement. With battles raging on multiple sides, the Ersos were rerouted by a group of clone troopers but were eventually surrounded. Climbing up a mound of rubble in front of a building, Lyra and Galen attempted to get atop the structure but found it was too tall. With the battle droids approaching and killing the remaining Lokori in the vicinity, Galen placed himself in front of Jyn and Lyra. To their surprise and relief, however, the droids suddenly shut down. Unknown to them, the Clone Wars had just ended.
Age of the Empire
Living on Coruscant
With the war over, the Republic was reorganized into the Galactic Empire by former Supreme Chancellor, now Emperor, Sheev Palpatine. Krennic, having convinced Galen to work for the Empire in a supposed kyber crystal sustainable energy project which was in fact a superweapon development program called Project Celestial Power, relocated the Erso family to the project's complex, built upon the former B'ankor Refuge. As Galen's work went on he became more distant from Jyn, who spent a lot of her time in the care of an MV nanny droid nicknamed "Mac-Vee." During this time, Jyn would watch bedtime holodramas, such as The Octave Stairway.
When she was three years old, Jyn, along with her mother, Has Obitt and Nari Sable, traveled to the Outer Rim planet of Alpinn on Krennic's request to help with the archeological project being conducted there. While there, Jyn would go exploring with the three of them and would revel in being at the center of attention back at the archeological camp. After returning to Coruscant, Jyn's father was more distant than ever, especially in regards to Lyra. Unbeknownst to Jyn, their indifference was a product of their conflicting views of Project Celestial Power, with each of her parents keeping secrets from the other.
Sometime later, Galen approached Jyn and asked her about a picture she was drawing, to which she told him it was a character from The Octave Stairway named Brin. Galen noticed the figure looked similar to him, and Jyn told him he could be Brin if he wanted. A sudden flush of regret and love washed over Galen as he expressed his regrets in not being around her more. Later, Galen and Lyra shared their doubts about Krennic and realized Galen's kyber research was, in fact, being used for nefarious ends. Knowing they could not merely resign, the pair decided to attempt an escape. Arranging an extraction point and time with Has Obitt, Galen and Lyra, with a four-year-old Jyn in her arms, left the complex and struggled through the parading crowds. However, with Obitt having been caught by Krennic, the smuggler's colleague, former Onderonian freedom fighter Saw Gerrera, met with the Ersos and led them to his own starship.
Leaving Coruscant, Jyn and Gerrera surveyed the stars from the front window of the ship. Confirming a suitable planet, Jyn and Gerrera told Galen and Lyra about a world on which they could hide: Lah'mu. Before departing into hyperspace, Gerrera handed Jyn's parents a com card that they could use to contact him if they ever felt the need. Though she was sad that she had to leave her toys and Mac-Vee behind, Jyn found comfort in the company of her parents and the fact she had found a new friend in Saw Gerrera.
- "Jyn, whatever I do, I do it to protect you. Say you understand."
- ―Galen and Jyn
For the next four years, Jyn lived with her parents in a homestead on the remote world of Lah'mu in order to avoid the Empire. In the event of compromise, the Ersos established a plan which involved a hatched room hidden underneath a rock that Jyn would escape to. This plan was put into effect in 13 BBY, when Orson Krennic, accompanied by a contingent of death troopers, arrived at their home. After contacting Saw Gerrera, Galen said a solemn goodbye to Jyn before heading out to face Krennic, while Lyra led Jyn around the back. Handing Jyn a kyber crystal pendant necklace, Lyra told Jyn to go to the hideout before leaving to also confront Krennic. However, Jyn decided to follow and hide in the long grass, watching as Lyra pulled a blaster pistol on Krennic. As he ordered his troopers to fire, Lyra managed to fire off one shot into Krennic's shoulder before being killed. Realizing it was time to get away, Jyn ran to the hideout as Krennic took Galen and ordered his death troopers to search for her.
After spending some time in the underground room, Jyn heard footsteps approaching above. When the hatch opened, she saw Gerrera standing there, who urged her to come out. Gerrera raised the young girl as his own daughter. For the next eight years, Jyn found a connection with the hardened warriors, becoming a soldier working for Gerrera's insurgents, whose actions were considered by many to be immoral, although Gerrera attempted to shield Jyn from some of the worst atrocities he and the others committed.
Throughout her time on Wrea, Gerrera told the other Partisans that she was his daughter. Jyn was trained with a blaster, truncheons, a code replicator, and in hand-to-hand combat by Gerrera to ensure she could survive. Jyn formed opinions on many of the Partisans that she saw frequently, respecting Idryssa Barruck, who offered her advice on hygiene and personal health, warming up to Maia, a younger girl who she became friends with, remaining friendly with Staven, a Pantoran who helped her learn to wire detonators and frequently trained with her, maintaing her distance from Codo, who had tried to kiss her after teaching her how to swim, and holding disdain for the cocky Reece Tallent. As her skills with the code replicator progressed, she was pleased with doing small jobs for Saw to help the Partisans on their missions.
At the age of eleven, Erso accompanied Gerrera to a meeting with Enfys Nest and the Cloud-Riders, who offered him coaxium to aid in the fight against the Galactic Empire. Gerrera introduced Erso as his ward, and Nest wondered why he would bring her to such a dangerous meeting. Gerrera replied that she needed to learn, and Nest advised Erso that people would underestimate her due to her age and suggested that she make them regret it. Later, as Nest boarded a shuttle to conduct a further discussion with Gerrera, Erso whispered that Gerrera would underestimate her. Nest smiled, considering the girl a fast learner. At the age of twelve, Jyn met Arhul Nemo of the Commenor Underground, who considered her his favorite of Gerrera's militia.
Working for Saw's Partisans
- "If I had known you'd let me join you on missions as soon as I beat up a boy, I'd have done it a long time ago."
- ―Jyn to Saw Gerrera about being allowed to accompany him on missions after beating up Reece Tallent
As Jyn got older, she convinced Gerrera to let her take part in some of the Partisans' missions. On her first mission, she guarded the airlock as the Partisans boarded an Imperial vessel. When an Imperial approached her, Jyn was reluctant and scared to shoot him, and despite threatening him, allowed him to attack her before he was killed by another Partisan. Embarrassed and ashamed of her failure, she apologized to Saw, who nonetheless reprimanded her for her lack of decisiveness. Later, Jyn was sent on her first solo mission, where she would be dropped off by Staven on Horuz to assassinate Dorin Bell, an Imperial scientist known to be working with kyber crystals. Jyn prepared to kill Bell, but was relieved when he was killed by the Partisans' "safeguards." When the Partisans were hired by Arane Oreida, Gerrera tasked Jyn with forging documents of admission to a ceremony on the planet Inusagi during the Sakoola blossom festival. Jyn was planted in a courtyard and instructed to pass out the forged documents to disguised rebels who gave her the codephrase "cloud." Despite being told not to enter the chieftess's palace, Jyn did so and witnessed the Partisans slaughter a large group of people with flechette launchers. In the ensuing chaos, Jyn saw her friend Maia killed and inherited her synthskin gloves.
Abandoned on Tamsye Prime
- "He knows who you really are. A secret like that, once exposed, cannot be hidden again."
"You're coming back for me, right? Promise?"
- ―Saw Gerrera and Jyn Erso
When Jyn was sixteen, she joined Gerrera, Tallent, and Codo on a mission to Tamsye Prime to scout out an old Clone Wars munitions factory that the Empire was using in hopes of a future, larger attack. Establishing a cover as tertiary units on a propaganda documentary filming on the site, Jyn forged the scandocs for their cover, giving herself the alias "Kestrel Dawn." The crew entered the factory to capture information on film and send it to other rebel groups.
They arrived on site, only to be betrayed by one of their own, Tallent, who also suspected Jyn's true identity. The remaining Partisans fought their way out the trap and the Empire's planned destruction of the factory, but with the Empire behind them, Gerrera gave Jyn a small blaster and ordered her to hide in an old shell turret until daylight. Believing that he would come back for her, Jyn watched from the bunker as Gerrera dealt with the traitorous Tallent, then left for the spaceport, leaving her alone. Being discarded like that left Jyn with little capacity to trust others and nursing bitter feelings and hatred for the two fathers who had abandoned her.
Escaping Tamsye Prime
Realizing that Gerrera was not coming back for her and that the Imperials would lay waste to Tamsye Prime to eliminate the witnesses, Jyn left the bunker to find that Tallent's ship was still docked, with her satchel of spare clothes, truncheons, and code replicator. Enlisting the help of a young man trying to find an escape ship, Jyn and her new passenger escaped the world. Realizing that the Imperials would work out that their ship had used forged codes to leave, the man directed them to junkers he had contact with to sell the ship so it could be taken apart and the trail erased. Splitting the money fifty-fifty, Jyn and the pilot parted ways.
Not knowing the name of the world she was on, Jyn wandered to the spaceport looking for passage off-world. Introducing herself as "Jyn Dawn," she arranged passage on a freighter ship operated by one Akshaya Ponta in exchange for her services as a mechanic, promising to repair Ponta's broken droid despite not knowing anything about it. Ponta made her forfeit her blaster, which Jyn did reluctantly, knowing she could always buy a new one and was more concerned about leaving the system. En route, Jyn used her forging skills to help Ponta evade an Imperial ship. Grateful, Ponta offered to let Jyn stay with her and her family on Skuhl for a while and get back on her feet. Jyn admitted she did not know anything about being a mechanic, but Ponta maintained her generous offer, which Jyn gladly accepted.
A new home
- "It wasn't that long ago when my son cooked for me, but now there's a pretty girl to distract him."
- ―Akshaya and Hadder Ponta on the new family dynamics Jyn introduced
Settling in with Ponta, who had a son about Jyn's age, Hadder, Jyn was allowed to sleep in the room previously used by Ponta's deceased daughter Tanith, who had died of bloodburn. Jyn offered to help forge useful documents for Ponta's shipping business but found herself with a lot of free time on her hands, which was something that she wasn't used to. Jyn and Hadder established a rapport over time. With Hadder's interest in flying and space travel being forbidden by his mother's concern regarding bloodburn being a hereditary condition, the duo began clandestine flights on the Pontas' planet hopper when Hadder's mother was away on business.
- "If you were so interested, why didn't you say anything sooner?"
"Because if you didn't want me, you would break my heart and potentially my body."
"Who's to say I won't do that anyway?"
"You can do whatever you want to my body."
- ―Jyn Erso and Hadder Ponta
As the months went by, Jyn adapted to her new life, moving on from everything about her old one as a freedom fighter. She and Hadder, who had taken something of an interest in her from the beginning, began to grow closer.
During one of their secret flights, Hadder took Jyn to a field for a picnic. While eating, he explained that he was thinking about joining a resistance group, since it would give him the chance to fly, and wanted to know if Jyn would come with him. Not wanting to get involved with another rebel group and happy with life as it was, Jyn told him that she wouldn't. Hadder decided that, even if it meant giving up a chance to fly, he would rather stay with her. This confession led to the two admitting that they had feelings for each other and started their relationship.
However, one night when Hadder took Jyn to a local restaurant, Jyn recognized Xosad Hozem, one of Gerrera's Partisans. Jyn quickly made Hadder leave with her, but outside the restaurant, Hozem and his men surrounded them. Hozem, looking for information on her, asked Jyn what she was doing, but Jyn quickly defeated him in hand-to-hand combat and told him to leave her alone and that she was no longer a rebel. later, Hadder admitted that Hozem was his contact with the rebels, and Jyn was forced to reveal some of her past to make sure Hadder understood what he was considering.
When the couple came back to the Ponta home, they found Akshaya Ponta waiting for them; the Empire was beginning to crack down on Skuhl. The Empire's presence began to disrupt their lives as well as the business when the Empire began to buy out Ponta's buyers and sellers. While the elder Ponta didn't want to leave the home that she had made for her family, Jyn and Hadder realized that there was no way to get around it. As the Empire began to tighten its grip, the young lovers eventually convinced Akshaya were eventually forced to make preparations to leave for the Five Points system to make a new start.
Unfortunately, the night before they planned to leave, stormtroopers arrived at the home, suspecting that Jyn was the same "Jyn" involved with the rebels at the Tamsye Prime factory incident. All three managed to escape, although they were separated. Jyn took the planet hopper while Hadder and his mother took the freighter. With the space around Skuhl a battle zone between the Empire and rebel fighters, the freighter was destroyed, killing Hadder and Akshaya, leaving Jyn to arrive at the Five Points station by herself. The deaths of two more people she cared for (especially since Hadder hadn't left with a rebel group before the fighting started because of her), left guilt that Jyn carried with her.
Life as a criminal
- "She has no loyalty to any person or cause except herself. She should have been left in jail."
- ―Davits Draven's assessment of Jyn's character, based on her criminal record
Orphaned for the third time, Jyn spent the next five years focusing on survival, becoming a street figure, smuggler, and petty criminal. She wandered through the galaxy, using and discarding aliases such as Liana Hallik, Tanith Ponta, Lyra Rallik, and Nari McVee to hide her true identity. When arrested, Jyn was able to escape from prison, either through help from friends outside or by bribing (or lying about a bribing) security guards.
As the years blurred together, she worked on a tibanna gas tanker in the Anoat system, wandered between the Mid Rim worlds Cerea and Coyerti, spent a year on Takodana, and worked for an extensive period of time forging codes for a freighter, before transferring to a planet-based job. Once she had planned a scheme against a "petty dictator" that involved blowing up his ship and stealing the guns in his possession. The crime failed and she was arrested. The dictator had her dragged through the streets and locked in holding, with the stormtroopers using the most brutal treatment allowed, such as pointing rifles at her and using stun prods.
While visiting Garel City, Jyn exhibited her heroic nature that would become clearer later in her life. Erso was buying fruit from an Ortolan merchant when she heard two stormtroopers forcibly seizing a pet Tooka-cat from a young girl. Jyn hurled the fruit she had at one of the stormtroopers. She assaulted the stormtroopers and fled with the Tooka-cat down an alleyway. The stormtroopers were joined by two reinforcements, so Jyn hid beside a rubbish bin with the cat. As the stormtroopers approached, she shot the drainage hatch with her blaster, causing the stormtroopers to fall into the drain. Jyn returned the pet to the grateful girl, who asked her what was her name. Jyn identified herself as Jyn Erso before walking away.
By the time she was twenty-one, Jyn's rap sheet included warrants for forgery of Imperial documents (listed twice on the rap sheet the Rebel Alliance recovered), aggravated assault against Imperial personnel, escape from custody, resisting arrest, shipjacking, possession of unsanctioned weapons, unlawful conduct with undesirables, petty theft, creating a public nuisance, and disorderly conduct. Notably, none of her crimes involved harming or conning civilians—her only targets were Imperial personnel and other criminals. Despite her rough life, Jyn was also not a murderer, killing only in self-defense, in defense of others, or in war. In 1 BBY, one year before joining the Rebellion and her ultimate sacrifice, Erso's voice was heard by Padawan Ezra Bridger inside a place between time and space.
- "Next work crew we are on together. I will kill you then."
"Who's going to keep you company?"
"I like a quiet cell."
"What if I kill you first?"
"Then I hope you like a quiet cell, Liana Hallik."
- ―"Kennel" to Jyn
In 0 BBY, Jyn's luck ran out. She was arrested infiltrating a rebel cell on a ship in the Five Points System while using her Liana Hallik alias. She was eventually transferred to the Imperial labor camp on the planet Wobani, sentenced to twenty years of labor in the planet's farms, sharing a cell with a Blutopian Oolin Musters, also known as "Kennel."
Jyn's only luck was that the Imperials thought she really was Liana Hallik, not realizing her true identity, and that they let her keep her kyber crystal necklace, mistaking it for a piece of glass. However, Jyn estimated that she would be dead long before her sentence was up; five years was the maximum life expectancy of a Wobani inmate, she had no friends to rescue her and no guards she could bribe. On top of everything, Kennel had promised to kill her the next time they were assigned to the same work shift. Jyn hadn't even been able to smuggle in a knife to protect herself.
Rescue by the Alliance
- "Congratulations. You are being rescued. Please do not resist."
- ―K-2SO to Jyn
In the sixth month of Jyn's incarceration, while being transported to her work station one day, the vehicle Jyn was aboard was attacked by Extraction Team Bravo of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. After identifying Jyn, Sergeant Ruescott Melshi released her from her restraints, but when he was distracted by a prisoner seated opposite, Jyn took her chance to kick Melshi over and attempt to escape, wondering if her "rescuers" were actually sent by Saw because she knew too much about his operations. Heading for the door, Jyn punched a second rebel trooper to the ground before grabbing a shovel from the side wall of the transport, using it to strike the sergeant and the third Bravo Team soldier. Running outside to escape, Erso was clotheslined by former Imperial KX-series security droid K-2SO who threw her to the ground and told her not to resist, informing her that she was being rescued.
Having been brought to the Rebel Alliance's secret base on the moon of Yavin 4, Jyn was handed over to General Davits Draven and a founder of the Alliance, Mon Mothma. After reading out her criminal record, Draven introduced Jyn to Rebel Alliance Intelligence Service officer, Captain Cassian Andor, who asked her when she was last in contact with her father and Saw Gerrera. Confused, irritated and only willing to give vague answers, Jyn demanded an explanation. The trio told her that an Imperial defector claimed to have been tasked by her father to pass information to the Rebel Alliance pertaining to a planet-destroying superweapon.
Because of her history with Gerrera, Draven and Mothma asked her to meet with him on the moon Jedha, an Imperial-occupied world held sacred by followers of the mystical energy field known as the Force, to acquire the message in the hopes of locating and extracting Galen to testify to the Imperial Senate. Given a choice between assisting the rebels and being given her freedom or refusing and being returned to prison, Jyn chose the former. What she wasn't aware of, however, was that Andor had instead been tasked with assassinating Galen by General Draven, who did not trust either Jyn or her father to help their cause.
Jyn was sent to the UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft that she, Andor and K-2SO would be using for the mission. While waiting, Jyn rummaged through a duffle belonging to Andor, helping herself to a pistol she found in it. When Andor arrived, K2 brought to his attention that Jyn was armed. Not willing to take the risk, Andor ordered her to hand the blaster over. Refusing, Jyn told him trust goes both ways, convincing Andor to allow her to keep it, even after K-2SO remarked that there was a very high likelihood of Jyn using it on him.
Mission to Jedha
- "So, what is it that you want, Jyn?"
"They wanted an introduction, they've got it. I'm out now; the rest of you can do what you want."
"You care not about the cause?"
"The cause? Seriously? The Alliance, the, the Rebels, whatever it is you're calling yourself these days, all it's ever brought me is pain."
- ―Saw Gerrera and Jyn
Arriving at Jedha, Jyn and Andor agreed that K2 should stay behind on the ship so that they could blend in with the crowds of the Holy City more easily. After entering the city, Jyn was surprised to find that Andor was relying on the hope of her name being enough to get a meeting with Saw, being told in response that "rebellions are built on hope." Shortly after, Jyn encountered Chirrut Îmwe, a blind male human who called her over. Îmwe told her about the Guardians of the Whills and their great temple, and how the Empire was at Jedha for the planet's kyber crystals. Her conversation was cut short when Andor called her over, telling her to keep her focus on the mission.
Walking further, the pair came to a street where they noticed an Imperial combat assault tank guarded by several stormtroopers approaching. Out of the corner of her eye, Jyn spotted several people armed with weapons atop the surrounding buildings. Suddenly the Imperials were attacked from all sides. After getting to cover, Jyn noticed a child stranded in the midst of the engagement. Running to retrieve the girl, Jyn handed her over to her mother but was subsequently trapped on either side by Imperial forces. Andor, spotting one of the insurgents preparing to throw an explosive, shot the rebel, causing him to fall and detonate the explosive inside a group of insurgents, providing enough distraction for Jyn to escape to cover. With the insurgents neutralizing the last of the Imperial forces surrounding the tank, they retrieved the kyber crystals being transported on board.
As Jyn and Andor tried to escape, a group of stormtroopers caught up with them. Finding cover in the indent of a building, Jyn extended her baton and struck a pair of stormtroopers down; using a scavenged E-11 blaster rifle, Jyn fired at another pair of troopers approaching from around the corner before turning and shooting a KX-series security droid. The droid fell, revealing K-2SO standing behind, chagrined at the fact that she might have shot him. Walking over to one of the stormtroopers recovering from being struck by Jyn, K2 caught the soldier's grenade mid-flight and threw it backwards into a group of approaching troopers, all the while chastising them for their decision to leave him on the ship.
Rounding a corner, the trio found themselves in front of another stormtrooper patrol. One of the stormtroopers ordered K2 to tell him where he was taking the "prisoners." Before he could answer, the troopers told K2 they would handle the prisoners. Before they could, however, the blind monk that had spoken to Jyn approached the group. Ordered to stay back by one of the stormtroopers, Îmwe kept walking. As the troopers fired, the robed man used his hands and his staff strike the soldiers down, using some of them as cover from blaster bolts. When the last trooper was down, another group came around the corner but were suddenly killed when a human named Baze Malbus, armed with a heavy repeater cannon, came up from behind. With the fighting ended, several of Gerrera's insurgents approached. Jyn demanded to speak with Gerrera, telling the rebels that she was Galen Erso's daughter. Speaking in an alien language, one of the insurgents ordered they all be restrained and brought to Gerrera.
Having arrived by foot at Gerrera's hidden base far from the city, Andor, Îmwe and Malbus were placed in a cell adjacent to the one holding the Imperial defector, while Jyn was led to Gerrera. Coming face to face, Gerrera greeted her but noticed her obvious anger. Asking if they were still friends, Jyn remained incredulous at him for abandoning her, which Gerrera defended by telling her that her history endangered him and his insurgency, just as much as she was endangered by being with them. Asking why she was at Jedha, Jyn explained the task she was set by the Alliance.
Taking out a small holoprojector, Gerrera placed it on the ground and activated it, producing a hologram recording of Jyn's father. The message played, revealing that Galen had accepted a job to develop the superweapon equipped battle station, which the Empire was calling the "Death Star," in order to purposefully engineer a flaw in the form of a vulnerable thermal exhaust port leading directly to the station's reactor. Galen went on to speak directly to his daughter, causing Jyn to burst into tears. He said that in order to find the exhaust port, one had to steal the station's plans. As the message ended, the building began to shake violently and Andor, who had escaped with Îmwe, Malbus and the former Imperial pilot, Bodhi Rook, ran up to her and told her that they needed to leave. Regaining composure, Jyn told Gerrera to come with them, but he refused, telling her that he was done running. As the group escaped towards the vast wall of rubble created by the Death Star's test firing on the holy city, K2 landed the U-wing in front of them and allowed the five of them to board the vessel before escaping into hyperspace.
While in hyperspace, Andor received a transmission from the Alliance informing him that the assassination operation was still in effect. With Bodhi having informed them that Galen was currently on the storm-stricken planet of Eadu, Jyn told them about the hologram message and that they need to find him. However, Andor had doubts and asked her if she had the message on her. Jyn told him everything happened so fast during their escape, and that she didn't have a chance to retrieve it. Asking if anyone else saw the message, Andor received shaking heads, causing Jyn to become angry and admonish them for not believing her.
Encounter on Eadu
- "Wh-what do you mean 'does he look like a killer'?"
"The Force moves darkly near a creature that's about to kill."
"His weapon was in the sniper configuration."
- ―Jyn, Îmwe and K-2SO, regarding Andor
Entering Eadu's stormy atmosphere, K2 and Andor struggled to guide the vessel between the planet's immense rock pillars as they listened to Rook's vague directions. As they approached the Imperial Flight Station, the U-wing's right engine hit one of the cliffs, causing the ship to crash. Confirming no one was injured or killed, Andor proceeded to depart with Rook, telling the group they were leaving to conduct reconnaissance. However, in reality, Andor was leaving to assassinate Galen. When Îmwe noted that Andor's weapon was in the sniper configuration, Jyn left to follow them, while Îmwe and Malbus, in turn, followed her. Upon reaching a cliff that Andor and Rook had passed, Jyn surveyed the shuttle depot ahead and realized her father was likely there, and so headed for the ladder leading up to the platform.
Suddenly, Krennic's shuttle passed overhead, landing at the end of a platform. When she reached the top, Jyn pulled a stormtrooper off the edge and picked up his blaster rifle. Before she could do anything, however, the platform was attacked by Rebel Alliance X-wing starfighters that had been sent after the group's presumed demise, with the attack killing most of the stormtroopers. As Krennic ordered Galen into the shuttle, Jyn shouted out to her father. When Galen tried to comprehend what he was seeing, he was struck by a blast from a Y-wing's proton torpedo. As Jyn lay on the ground, Krennic hastily looked back before boarding his shuttle. As the black vessel turned, Jyn made her way over to her father but was pushed back by the force of the shuttle's sublight engines. However, she managed to hold on to the edge of the platform. Getting back atop the platform, Jyn ran over to a fatally injured Galen and turned him over. Jyn told him that she got his message, and after a brief exchange, Galen died in her arms.
Andor, who had spotted Jyn through the scope of his A280-CFE blaster, came up to Jyn and told her they needed to leave, telling her Galen was dead and that she couldn't do anything about it. As they regrouped, a squad of stormtroopers caught up with them and prepared to fire. However, an Imperial Cargo Shuttle piloted by Rook and K2 rose up behind the rebels, taking out the stormtroopers with its forward laser cannons. After all the rebels were aboard, the shuttle took off, heading for Yavin 4. As they traveled through hyperspace, Jyn confronted Andor, realizing he was going to kill her father. Andor became angry and told her that some don't have the luxury to make their own choices and that, even though he had the chance to, he didn't kill Galen.
Return to Yavin
- "I'm not used to people sticking around when things go bad."
- ―Jyn, to Andor
Arriving back at the Rebel base, a meeting of the Alliance Cabinet was held to discuss how the Rebellion should deal with the Death Star. Most of the group agreed that, against such a destructive weapon, the Alliance stood no chance of stealing the plans and that the word of a "criminal" was not enough to take such a risk. Jyn interjected, telling them it wasn't a matter of chance, but one of choice and that if they let such power remain in the hands of such an evil government then they condemn the galaxy indefinitely to a future of oppression. Her speech was enough to sway many of the council members, but without full support from everyone, the chances were too great and no action could be taken. Irritated with the council's unwillingness to act, Jyn stormed off.
Inside one of the Great Temple's hangars, Andor approached Jyn with a group of troopers from the Marine Corps behind him. Agreeing with her that they have to do something, Andor offered his service, telling her he couldn't live with himself if he gave up. Îmwe, Malbus, and Rook soon followed suit, with K2 telling her he would fight with her, but only because Andor said that he had to. Boarding their appropriated Imperial shuttle, the group prepared for takeoff but received a message from an Alliance member telling them they were not cleared to leave the base and that they had to give a callsign. Desperately trying to think of one, Rook replied with "Rogue One," but was told there was no "Rogue One." Before the Alliance member could say another word, Rook lifted the ship off the ground and took off from the moon and plotted a course for Scarif, the location of the Death Star plans.
Battle of Scarif
- "You know Jyn Erso? The woman who started it all and destroyed the Death Star? The first one, the real one, I mean."
"General Skywalker and Red Squadron destroyed the Death Star."
"Skywalker fired the last shot, was all. Jyn did everything that mattered."
- ―Chass na Chadic and Nath Tensent
Infiltrating the Citadel
- "They've no idea we're coming. They've no reason to expect us. If we can make it to the ground, we'll take the next chance, and the next, on and on until we win, or the chances are spent."
- ―Jyn addressing Rogue One
As the shuttle exited hyperspace, Scarif and its enveloping planetary deflector shield came into view. As they headed towards the Shield Gate that would allow them access to the surface, Rook notified gate control and requested a landing pad. After informing them that their arrival was not scheduled, Rook told the gate officer that they had been rerouted from Eadu and ordered K2 to transmit the clearance codes. As they waited for a reply, Jyn clutched her kyber crystal. A few seconds later, the reply came through, and they were granted entry. As everyone expressed their relief, Jyn headed into the cargo section to tell the others. While there, she was approached by Special Forces Lieutenant Taidu Sefla who expressed his concern that the troops would have trouble respecting her without legitimate authority. Thus, Jyn became an official member of the Alliance with the rank of sergeant. Jyn proceeded to address the Marines on the situation while Andor detailed the mission and their role in it.
After the shuttle settled down on landing pad nine, an inspection crew consisting of two stormtroopers, an officer, and a ground technician boarded. When they descended into the cargo bay to check the ship's supposed manifest, the four Imperials were taken out. After donning their uniforms, Jyn and Andor along with K2 left for the facility while the Marines sneaked out through the underside the ship. While the trio headed through the complex, the others prepared for the diversion by planting explosives at various landing pads. Finding a lone KX-series droid, K2 accessed its data banks and retrieved a map of the complex. Discovering there were too many stormtroopers to make it to the data vault, Andor ordered Melshi to detonate the explosives to divert the Imperial forces away.
Making it without resistance to the data vault, K2 knocked out the technician in charge of the vault and assumed control of the computer. After opening the door, K2 informed them that the Alliance Fleet had amassed over Scarif and that the Shield Gate had been closed. When Jyn realized they were trapped, K2 suggested transmitting the plans but told them that the size of the data files meant that the shield would have to be taken down in order to send them to the fleet. Before she left into the vault, Jyn handed K2 a blaster pistol recovered from the unconscious Putna, and the droid told her that her behavior was continually unexpected.
As Jyn and Andor skimmed through the files in search of the plans, a group of stormtroopers approached K2 and saw the technician's body on the floor. K2 attempted to divert the stormtroopers to supposed "rebels," but Andor asked through comms why he had closed the vault door, forcing the droid to take out the soldiers. Jyn continued to search through the files and stopped at "Stardust," the same nickname her father gave her and realized that they must be the plans. As K2 tried to fight off stormtrooper reinforcements, he read out the data-tape's position. Andor used the retrieving mechanism to get it; however, before he could fully extract it, the door control was shot and the device's power went out. K2 implored them to climb and locked the vault before being killed by stormtroopers.
Jyn shot the glass and jumped across onto the data tower, with Andor following her. After she retrieved the data-tape, they climbed up to escape, but before they could a door opened in the wall revealing Krennic and a pair of death troopers. Andor covered Jyn's escape, killing the two death troopers before a bolt from Krennic caused him to fall and hit a platform unconscious. Jyn, knowing she couldn't save him, continued climbing. Reaching a continuously opening and closing hatch, Jyn timed her escape, climbing through the malfunctioning exit just in time.
Reaching the top of the Citadel Tower, Jyn inserted the data-tape into a console connected to the large dish above her. However, the computer told her that the dish was misaligned. Making her way across an extended platform to the orientation control, Jyn aligned the dish with the Rebel Fleet but noticed a TIE striker heading in her direction. As she moved hastily back to the transmission console, the atmospheric fighter fired at the platform, pushing Jyn backward and forcing her to grab a railing to prevent falling to the beach below. Getting back atop the platform, Jyn once again made her way over to the console but was stopped by Krennic. Demanding Jyn tell him who she was, she told him she was Jyn Erso, daughter of Galen and Lyra. She then told Krennic about the fatal flaw that her father had placed in the Death Star, describing it as a "fuse in the middle of Krennic's machine," and that she'd just "told the entire galaxy how to light it." Krennic dismissed this, reminding Jyn that the shield was still up and that he'd kill her before she could transmit the plans to the rebels. However, before he could, Andor emerged and shot Krennic, rendering him unconscious. Jyn ran over to the console and managed to transmit the plans to the Rebel vessel Profundity before going over to the wounded Andor to brace him. Following the captain's gaze to Krennic, Jyn tried to run over to him in anger but was stopped by Andor, who calmed her down. Unknown to them, Îmwe, Malbus, and Bodhi had all already perished in the fighting on the beach.
- "Your father would've been proud of you, Jyn."
- ―Andor's final words to Jyn
Exiting the turbolift and stumbling out onto the beach, Jyn and Andor looked into the distance to see that the Death Star had fired its superlaser at a point several kilometers away. Knowing that the plans were safe with the Alliance, Jyn accepted her fate as the resulting blast approached them, and she and Andor shared one last embrace before being engulfed by the blast and becoming one with the Force.
- "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."
- ―Mon Mothma reflecting on Jyn's short life
Jyn's determination and bravery led to her becoming one of the most important figures of the war. Her actions allowed the Rebel Alliance to exploit the Death Star's weakness with the help of Luke Skywalker and pave the way for the Empire's defeat at the Battle of Jakku five years later. She was also part of the catalyst that made the Rebel Alliance a truly unified force instead of the unstable conglomeration that existed prior.
Ubin Des revered Jyn and lamented that she was unable to join her at Scarif having been confined to sick bay at the time. Having been told only a little about the mission, Luke Skywalker wished to know more about the late rebel.
A Holovid of Jyn's speech on Yavin was captured by Rebel journalist Corwi Selgrothe and circulated during the war. Although banned by the Empire, the recording inspired Chass na Chadic to change her life, fly with the Cavern Angels, and eventually join the Rebel Alliance. During her time in the Alphabet Squadron, Chadic told her squadron that Jyn was a martyr and a hero who did everything that mattered in the effort to destroy the Death Star. Chadic also revealed that she had met Jyn once on the Five Points Station where Jyn saved her life by shooting a Chevin who was attempting to kidnap Chadic.
In retrospect, the popular assessment of Jyn's choice to go on the mission to Scarif was with the deliberate intent of becoming a martyr, having lost everything. Mothma herself strongly disagreed. In her writings, when talking about her two brief meetings with Jyn, Mothma presented the case that Jyn had wanted to put the best and worst qualities of herself to a cause she found worthy and found that in the Scarif mission. While admitting that she didn't know for sure what would've happened, Mothma also expressed the opinion that Jyn would've gone on to an extraordinary life had she lived.
Personality and traits
- "Jyn, I think, never knew the effect she had on others—never realized the intensity of her own humanity or the presence she brought to a room. She was, as expected, troubled and quarrelsome; she was also impossible to ignore or forget."
- ―Mon Mothma
Standing at 1.6 meters in height, Jyn Erso was a human female with short brown hair, green eyes, and light skin. Even as a small child, Jyn began developing a rebellious attitude but had a clear sense of right and wrong gained from her parents while growing up on Coruscant and Lah'mu. During her time with Saw Gerrera's insurgents, she developed a strong bond with the extremists. After being abandoned at sixteen, Jyn was forced to adapt and developed fighting skills and a keen knowledge of the galactic underworld. Initially, Jyn cared little about the Rebels' cause, but after watching the hologram message from her father, Jyn realized how important it was that the Empire be rid from the galaxy and sacrificed herself for their cause.
As a result of being trained by Saw Gerrera and being abandoned, she wielded a calm yet cold demeanor in interactions with others or when completing tasks. That being said, the pain she held on to was expressed when seeing her father's hologram message, becoming teary-eyed, falling to her knees once the message had finished. In addition, she was aggressive and distrusting, fighting off the Rebellion squad that was sent to rescue her, and keeping others at arms length until the battle at Scarif. Despite her aggressive and cold demeanor, she showed herself to be selfless and caring, saving a child from death during a battle against stormtroopers on Jedha as well as assisting a small girl being harassed by stormtroopers on Garel.
Jyn's relationship with Andor was complicated, as the two didn't trust one another when they first met. After learning that the Alliance ordered him to kill Galen, she became furious with him for lying to her. However, later she learned of his experience from the war, and the two would later become respectful allies once they banded together to disobey orders and headed to Scarif to finish her father's mission. Her relationship with K-2SO was distasteful, with the latter having restrained her when she attacked the squad that was sent to rescue her. Despite this, K-2SO showed himself to care for Jyn, saying he would do anything for her, and sacrificing himself for her and Andor in his last moments.
Behind the scenes
Jyn Erso was created by John Knoll for the 2016 film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Knoll created the character as a role model for his daughters and developed her as part of his original story for the film, circa 2003. Felicity Jones was announced to play the role on March 12, 2015. The first photo of Jyn was released during the 2015 D23 Expo, and the first footage of the character was shown in the Rogue One teaser trailer on April 7, 2016. While Jyn appeared in trailers facing a recitation of a list of past crimes and stating "This is a rebellion, isn't it? I rebel," this scene was cut from the final film.
In an earlier draft of Rogue One, Jyn was given the rank of sergeant. This was cut from the final film, although several pieces of merchandise still identified her as Sergeant Jyn Erso. Upon the movie's release, Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide and the film's novelization confirmed that Jyn was in fact given the rank of sergeant by Lieutenant Taidu Sefla during the team's descent onto Scarif.
Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide states that Jyn was born in 22 BBY; however, Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel states Jyn was born sometime after the Second Battle of Geonosis, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 21 BBY.
- LEGO Star Wars Movie Short: Star Wars: Rogue One As Told By LEGO
- LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (DLC)