- "This is a rebellion, isn't it? I rebel."
- ―Jyn Erso
Jyn Erso was a human female soldier and former criminal who fought for the Alliance to Restore the Republic as a sergeant during the Galactic Civil War. She was recruited by Mon Mothma, a leader of the Rebel Alliance, to take part in a mission that eventually lead to the theft of the Death Star plans. After successfully transmitting the plans to the Rebel Fleet, Jyn Erso died on the planet Scarif as a result of the deployment of the Death Star to destroy the military facility located there.
The Clone Wars
Jyn Erso was born on the Outer Rim ice planet of Vallt in 22 BBY 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. In 21 BBY, Jyn and her parents were unexpectedly ordered onto a carriage and sent to a spaceport where, to the great surprise of her parent's, 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 B1 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 Erso's 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, 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 ended.
Age of the Empire
Living on Coruscant
With the war ended, the Republic was reformed as the First 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.
At some point, 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 they could go into hiding on: 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 meet with Krennic, while Lyra led Jyn around the back. Giving Jyn a kyber crystal on a necklace, Lyra told Jyn to go to the hideout before leaving also to confront Krennic. However, Jyn decided to follow and hide in the long grass, watching as Lyra pulled a blaster pistol on Krennic. Ordering 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 the 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. For the next eight years, Jyn became a soldier on Onderon working for Gerrera's insurgents, whose actions were considered by many to be immoral. Jyn found a connection with the hardened warriors but when a crippling setback occurred among the rebels, Gerrera abandoned Jyn, believing her origins could compromise his cause. These events left Jyn with little capacity to trust others. For the next five years, Jyn focused on surviving, employing several aliases to hide her identity, such as Liana Hallik, Tanith Ponta and Kestrel Dawn. Her lifestyle often put her at odds with the Empire, though the cause of her violence was not political.
Capture by the Alliance
- "Congratulations. You are being rescued. Please do not resist."
- ―K-2SO to Jyn
In 0 BBY, Jyn was imprisoned in an Imperial labor camp on the planet Wobani. While being transported to a location on the planet, the vehicle she was aboard was attacked by Extraction Team Bravo of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. After identifying Jyn, Sergeant Melshi released her from her restraints but was distracted by a prisoner seated opposite, giving Jyn a chance to kick the Rebel over. 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 forcefully seized 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 Draven and a founder of the Alliance, Mon Mothma. After reading out her criminal record, Draven introduced Jyn to Alliance Intelligence 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 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 Saw Gerrera, Draven and Mothma asked her to meet with him on the planet Jedha, an Imperial occupied world held sacred by followers of the mystical energy field known as the Force.
Preparing to leave on a UT-60D transport along with Andor and K-2SO, the reprogrammed droid brought to Andor's attention that Jyn had her own weapon. Not willing to take the risk, Andor ordered her to hand it over. Refusing, Jyn told him trust goes both ways, convincing Andor to allow her to keep it.
Mission to Jedha
Arriving at Jedha, the Jyn and Andor agreed that Kaytoo should stay behind on the ship so that they could blend into the crowds of the holy city more easily. After entering the city, 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 out onto a street where they noticed an Imperial Assault Hovertank guarded by several stormtroopers approaching. Out of the corner of her eye, Jyn spotted several people armed with sniper rifles 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 parent 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 Hovertank, 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. Unsure if she had just killed K-2SO, the droid fell revealing the true Kaytoo standing behind. Walking over to one of the stormtroopers recovering from being struck by Jyn, Kaytoo 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 Kaytoo to tell him where he was taking the "prisoners." Before they were able to give an answer, the troopers told Kaytoo they will 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 that she speak with Saw Gerrera, telling the rebels that she is 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 scolded him for abandoning her, to which Gerrera defended himself by telling her that her history endangered him and his insurgency. 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 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 hypermatter reactor. Galen went on to speak directly to his daughter, causing Jyn to bust into tears. 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, Kaytoo landed the U-wing in front of them and allowed the five of them to board the vessel before escaping into hyperspace.
Personality and traits
- "On your own from the age of fifteen. Reckless, aggressive, and undisciplined."
- ―Mon Mothma
Jyn Erso was a human female with short brown hair, green eyes, and light skin. She grew up on her own from the age of fifteen and, as a result of her upbringing, developed fighting skills and a keen knowledge of the galactic underworld. She was considered "reckless, aggressive, and undisciplined" by Mon Mothma. Having little patience for debate with Alliance High Command, she preferred to take matters into her own hands.
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. She was developed 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 the character 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.
- Catalyst (First appearance)
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story novel
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – A Junior Novel
- Star Wars: Rogue One Secret Mission
- Star Wars Battlefront (DLC)