- "I delivered the weapon the Emperor requested. I deserve an audience to make certain that he understands its remarkable… potential."
- ―Orson Krennic, to Darth Vader
Orson Callan Krennic was a human male who served as Director of the Imperial Military Department of Advanced Weapons Research, which belonged to Imperial Intelligence and the Imperial Security Bureau during the Imperial Era. Additionally, he was the commander of the DS-1 Death Star Mobile Battle Station up to the beginning of the Galactic Civil War. Born on Lexrul during the Republic Era, fifty-one years before the Battle of Yavin, Krennic began his career as a Lieutenant Commander in the Galactic Republic. Following the Clone Wars he was promoted to commander and later the fleet equivalent of admiral upon the formation of the Galactic Empire. Persistent and ambitious, Krennic was responsible for the development and construction of the Empire's enormous Death Star superweapon. An old friend of crystallographer Galen Erso, Krennic manipulated the brilliant scientist into researching synthetic kyber crystals under the pretext of researching sustainable energy. In reality, Krennic weaponized Erso's crystal research for the battle station's planet-killing superlaser, hoping this would place him above his long-time rival Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin and win the favor of Emperor Palpatine. Krennic was also held accountable for security of the project, quelling rumors of the Empire's secret enterprise for the two decades of its assembly. For these many purposes he commanded a squad of death troopers, serving as both a sword and shield when the Director found himself in battle.
During the final stages of the Death Star's construction, the project faced potential exposure in the form of a rather talkative cargo pilot. Krennic restlessly sought to silence these rumors, ordering the first successful discharge of the superlaser on the sacred moon of Jedha, where news of the technological terror had reached. However, Krennic was ultimately unable to contain the project's secrecy, and the Rebel Alliance soon launched an attack on the coastal planet Scarif where data tapes containing a complete technical readout of the station were being held. After Director Krennic failed to prevent the theft of these tapes, Tarkin deployed the Death Star in a continued effort to eliminate the compromised facility. Krennic met his end in this second blast of his own creation, an ironic culmination of his life's work. Soon afterward, the Rebellion successfully exploited a vulnerability in the Death Star discovered through the stolen plans, detonating the reactor module and leading to the downfall of Krennic's achievement.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early life
- 1.2 Constructing the Death Star
- 1.2.1 Rescue on Vallt
- 1.2.2 Rebirth of the Geonosian hive
- 1.2.3 The troubled birth of the Death Star
- 1.2.4 Project Celestial Power
- 1.2.5 Disaster on Malpaz
- 1.2.6 Creation of the superweapon
- 1.2.7 The Agaris incident
- 1.2.8 Finding Galen Erso
- 1.2.9 Persuading the Empire
- 1.2.10 Combatting the Defender
- 1.2.11 Tarkin's game
- 1.3 The Death Star's completion
- 1.4 Legacy
- 2 Personality and traits
- 3 Skills and abilities
- 4 Behind the scenes
- 5 Appearances
- 6 Sources
- 7 Notes and references
- "How was it that you know Erso, Lieutenant Commander?"
"We became friends on Brentaal as students in the Futures Program."
"You were in the gifted program?"
"For a period of time—before being offered a position in the design regiment of the Corps of Engineers."
- ―Mas Amedda and Orson Krennic
Orson Callan Krennic was a human male born in Sativran City on the planet Lexrul in the year 51 BBY. At the age of fifteen, he earned a place in the Galactic Republic's Future Program on Brentaal, wherein he met and befriended fellow student Galen Erso. The two friends had very different personalities, as Erso needed to be pushed into going to social events, while Krennic's nocturnal carousing became legendary among the Futures Program. Nonetheless, Krennic graduated with high honors to the astonishment of his classmates.
The two worked well together, but the older Erso shrank in the shadow of Krennic's personality and charisma. Although Krennic's listed area of excellence was architecture, his counselors noted that Krennic's ability to manipulate and read others was just as effective. After a time in the program, he was offered a position in the Republic Corps of Engineers and joined it, which led to him supervising large onworld and deep space construction projects. This increased influence allowed Krennic to land Erso a visiting professorship at the Institute of Applied Science at the time when Erso had focused on kyber crystal research.
Constructing the Death Star
Krennic grew to become a member of the Republic's Strategic Advisory Cell, and, despite publicly still being represented as a member of the Corps of Engineers, only those within the cell were aware of Krennic's involvement as a member of the top-secret Republic Special Weapons Group. As part of this group, Krennic returned to studying, particularly in regards to the weapons Rothana, Kuat and others had built for the Grand Army, and Baktoid, Hoersch-Kessel Drive and others were engineering for the Separatists.
At a meeting discussing the schematics for the Death Star obtained by the Republic sometime following the Second Battle of Geonosis, it was debated whether the Republic could create such a weapon before the Separatists were able to—a basic ring structure had already been completed, but problems arose with the labor force responsible for its construction, as well as the superweapon that would give the station its devastating power. Krennic met with Vice Chancellor Mas Amedda to discuss the weapon, within which Krennic suggested using the work of his former colleague Galen Erso. Erso had been focusing his research on how crystals could be used to supply power, and had most recently focused on kyber crystals. Erso was currently imprisoned by the Separatists on Vallt, but Krennic believed that the research could be weaponized. Amedda agreed to let Krennic arrange for his rescue, yet Krennic had to do so without making the Republic's involvement clear.
Rescue on Vallt
Krennic enlisted the help of smuggler Has Obitt to travel to the planet of Merj, where they and a team of other smugglers captured two Separatist Morseerian scientists. Going to Vallt disguised as employees of Zerpen Industries, the company that Galen Erso belonged to, Krennic arranged for the two scientists to be received by the Separatists in exchange for Galen, Lyra and their daughter, Jyn Erso. Upon making their way off the planet, they were intercepted by a Separatist warship. Krennic called for assistance from Commander Prakas, who arrived in a Republic cruiser and opened fire on Vallt, destroying the Keep where the Ersos had been kept, much to their distaste. In an attempt to persuade Galen to leave his strictly pacifist ways, Krennic took them to Galen's home planet of Grange, which had come under siege. Galen, however, maintained his resolve to stay neutral in the Clone Wars: Despite his fierce desire for the engineer's knowledge and talents, Krennic knew that Galen would have to mostly come to his own decision based on knowledge as opposed to being quickly and simply persuaded.
Rebirth of the Geonosian hive
Upon return from Vallt, Krennic arranged for a meeting with Geonosian archduke Poggle the Lesser, who was prisoner to the Republic. Using his knowledge of the Geonosians from his studies as part of the Strategic Advisory Cell, Krennic appealed to Poggle and the work of his hive in the construction of the Droid Army and the Death Star plans. Knowing that the hives on Geonosis would turn back to their native barbaric infighting at the lack of their archduke and any construction projects, Poggle agreed to assist in the construction of the battle station.
Not long later, Galen Erso came to Krennic with plans for an energy facility project the two could embark on together, which Krennic promptly declined. Mas Amedda arranged for a meeting with Krennic to discuss his unauthorized attack on Vallt and his interrogation of Poggle, yet Krennic's overall progress towards the creation of the Death Star won him Amedda's favor. Krennic then attended a Futures Program reunion, where he witnessed Galen Erso be accused of siding with the Separatists for not actively assisting with the Republic since his capture on Vallt by Dagio Belcoze, much to Krennic's approval.
Krennic joined Poggle back on his home planet of Geonosis, where he endured observing days of gladiatorial games in the Petranaki Arena, held in celebration of Meckgin. Here, Poggle announced that the hive would be constructing the Death Star, following which the Geonosians cheered and returned to intensified combat.
The troubled birth of the Death Star
- "Whatever it is can wait, Poggle. Your workers are dismantling everything they put together."
"Try not to be too hard on them. They are simply following my orders."
- ―Orson Krennic and Archduke Poggle the Lesser
Poggle reasoned that making the drones perform work beneath their skill level would increase their ultimate output - despite not being entirely sold on this philosophy, the Geonosians began making significant progress on constructing the Death Star, which soon went from resembling a ring to a gyroscopic shape. In an attempt to bring more favor from Galen Erso, Krennic arranged for espionage charges against him to be dropped - Krennic reasoned that gaining more favor from Erso would make him more likely to join the Death Star project when Krennic revealed it to him, and that in turn would give Krennic more influence in the Republic and lead to Krennic not having to report to Wilhuff Tarkin, whom he despised. Krennic contacted Galen and informed him of a job at Helical HyperCom at a large production facility on Lokori, in an attempt to have the mundane nature of the facility, as well as the continuous Separatist attacks on the planet, lead Galen to become more desperate for a fulfilling job.
Awakened one night by his comlink, Krennic was informed that the Death Star's infancy was in jeopardy, with the Geonosian drones turning back and destroying their three months worth of work as well as the marines who occupied the facility. Poggle revealed that he had given the drones the order to rebel, and escaped to return to Count Dooku, dealing a massive blow to Krennic's reputation.
Project Celestial Power
Not long after Krennic's betrayal by Poggle the Lesser, the Clone Wars ended, and the Republic was now the Galactic Empire. Krennic met with the Ersos on Kanzi following news that Galen had been offered a permanent administrative position on Lokori. Krennic then offered Galen a position as part of Project Celestial Power, which Krennic implied would have the primary focus of bringing power to planets ravaged by the Clone Wars. Galen accepted this position and would work on Coruscant in a new facility.
Galen Erso began intense research on the kyber crystals Krennic had provided him with, whilst Tarkin met with Krennic in a shipyard in Kartoosh. Here, Krennic explained the potential power of the Death Star, which Tarkin regarded with mild skepticism, as well as announcing his plans to select certain worlds for the exclusive mining of resources essential to the construction of the Death Star. Tarkin found favor in Krennic's promises and allowed Krennic to overreach his authority in order to gain the resources needed and put them tighter into Tarkin's own grasp. Krennic would use Has Obitt and other smugglers to perform smuggling operations which would require the Empire to take complete control over mining corporations—this would give Krennic the resources he needed and turn the smugglers against the Empire, which Krennic could later use to his advantage to oppose anyone who tried to circumvent his advancement of power.
Lyra Erso grew wary of the Empire's true intentions for Project Celestial Power and the Empire and informed Galen of this. Krennic had access to surveillance recordings and grew wary of Lyra's influence on Galen.
Disaster on Malpaz
In attempts to weaponize Galen's research, a research facility on Malpaz had exploded, leading to a massive loss of life and a mass exodus on the planet. Krennic worked to ensure it was interpreted as an attack. Following this, Krennic again met with Mas Amedda—in the face of disapproval, Krennic suggested having his rank be raised in order to give the impression that the project was going more smoothly than it truly was. Krennic suggested being promoted to Rear Admiral, but he was promoted to the lower rank of full Commander.
Krennic met with the Erso family following a discussion Lyra had with a former colleague of Galen Erso, who believed that Krennic was responsible for the incident on Malpaz. Krennic suggested to Lyra that she take a break from parenting and go back to exploring as she used to do. With Lyra out of the equation, Krennic called Galen to meet with him in private. Here, Galen mentioned doubts Lyra had, as well as his own. Galen was shown the world of Malpaz, and Krennic claimed that it was an attack by those who wished to bring instability through sowing chaos into the Empire. Galen was upset to see his work being attacked by those who solely wanted to ruin the lives of others. Krennic had maneuvered Galen to his side, and Galen agreed to work more intensely but under complete secrecy from anyone, including Lyra.
Around this time,[source?] Krennic attended the annual Imperial Ball on Empire Day. His considerable status, as well as his choice to wear his distinctive white cape, drew the attention of those present at the fashionable gathering. In fact, inspired by his arrival, Krennic's subordinate Tifino drunkenly revealed confidential information about the project to inquisitive HoloNet reporter Calliope Drouth. Within meters of Krennic, a drunk Tifino divulged the Imperial commander's interest in the sacred moon Jedha. Tifino's friend, shuttle pilot Ianna Wick, added that Krennic's interest in Jedha arose from its kyber crystal deposits. Later during the party, Drouth's malfunctioning reporting droid fell to Krennic's feet, prompting him to retrieve the unit and offer to repair it. Aware of the sensitive conversations the droid had recorded, Drouth intended to decline the offer, but the droid eventually reactivated. Drouth was later able to broadcast the information she learned in her news story using hand signals.
Creation of the superweapon
With Galen in his grasp, Krennic then sprang a trap on Tarkin. Has Obitt had been angered by the destruction he had indirectly caused by following Krennic, and staged a rebellion alongside Saw Gerrera against the Imperial occupation of the Salient system and Zerpen Industries headquarters. Knowing Tarkin would not back down through fear of making the Empire look weak, he was preoccupied while Krennic was able to advance his plan without Tarkin claiming any involvement. During this battle, Galen's research advanced, and Krennic was able to get a prototype weapon created. From aboard a Star Destroyer, Krennic had the superweapon tested. The weapon was aimed at two black holes known as The Hero Twins so as to prevent any incident similar to what happened on Malpaz. At Krennic's command, the weapon was fired, and its collimating beams raced into the two black holes. It was a successful weaponizing of Galen's research, ensuring their place in history. At some point during these tests, however, Krennic admitted to the Emperor that the station's primary weapon was not yet fully operational.
When Darth Vader arrived on Geonosis to discover who was sabotaging Project Stardust Krennic greeted him. He and Lord Vader then came under attack when an explosion went off and almost buried him and Vader alive. Vader used the Force to lift the rubble away from them. At his office, Krennic told Vader that he believed that Tarkin was behind the attack, but had no proof. He informed Lord Vader that there were several accidents that were sabotaged by someone. Lord Vader assured Krennic that the perpetrator would be found. Krennic was visited by Lord Vader after his investigation on Coruscant and showed him a Ootheca egg that was found in Galen Erso's Office. He told Vader that Erso received blueprints from the Geonosians and that a rogue infestation of Geonosians must have sent him the egg in order to get Erso's help. Krennic supplied Lord Vader with a squad of death troopers in order to deal with these Geonosians.
When Lyra returned to Galen from her expedition on Alpinn, she found him difficult to communicate with, as if he were under immense pressure. Krennic had given the task of taking her to Alpinn to Has Obitt, who Krennic had learned had showed her the destruction of the worlds he was involved in smuggling for on behalf of Krennic. Krennic informed Lyra that her disruption of Galen's research would set back the project massively and that there could be trouble for her and her family if she was to prove fatal to his research. Elated with the successful test, Krennic went to meet with Project Celestial Power workers on Hypori. Here, a former colleague of Galen and friend of Lyra Erso named Reeva Demesne inquired about what exactly they were working on, as the scale of their project was unlike anything seen before. Krennic came under scrutiny, as he was accused of using their research for the creation of a superweapon and their destruction was ordered.
Racked with concern over not being given specific updates from Krennic and being obsessed with his advancement of kyber crystal research, Galen realized he had been neglecting his child Jyn. Lyra then met with Galen, realizing they were under surveillance following Krennic's prior threat to their family - she had tried to contact Reeva Demesne, but she was no longer listed as an employee, nor were various other workers and friends. Lyra had a friend from her journey to Alpinn known as Nari Sable relay data to them from Malpaz and Hypori, and found evidence of destruction at Imperial hands as opposed to anarchists, despite Galen being told by Krennic that anarchists were to blame for the destruction he saw. They arranged a meeting with Krennic, wherein they raised questions over the devastated planets and Reeva. Krennic interpreted the meeting as a trap—he left and made plans for the possible removal of Lyra and Jyn from Galen's life. On his journey back, Krennic received a transmission from Tarkin, regarding the arrival of Has Obitt on Coruscant. Krennic assumed that Obitt had planned on revenge, and perhaps the retrieval of the Ersos off of Coruscant. Krennic raced back, only to find that Obitt had arrived with none of the Erso family in sight—they had vanished from under his nose in another location with the assistance of Saw Gerrera, and slipped from Krennic's grasp. Krennic was demoted by Amedda back to Lieutenant Commander. Angered, he vowed to find the Ersos again, leaving no stone unturned. Meanwhile, he would make what progress he could, whilst being observed and overseen from afar by Tarkin.
The Agaris incident
- "Director Krennic sends his regards. He has commanded me personally to oversee transportation of the first shipment of quadanium back to Sentinel Base."
- ―K-4D8, to Governor Wilhuff Tarkin
Sometime after the loss of the Ersos, Krennic was promoted to director, and sent the KX-series security droid K-4D8 to the planet Agaris under official orders to assist Tarkin in overseeing the transportation of the first shipment of quadanium back to Sentinel Base.
Finding Galen Erso
- "We were on the verge of greatness. We were this close to providing peace, security for the galaxy."
"You're confusing peace with terror."
"Well, we have to start somewhere."
- ―Orson Krennic and Galen Erso
After landing a lofty appointment in Imperial Intelligence, Krennic used every tool at his disposal to track down Galen Erso. In 13 BBY, Krennic discovered the Ersos on the remote planet Lah'mu, where they lived a simple farming life. Landing near their homestead in his personal Delta-class T-3c shuttle, Krennic approached from afar with his death troopers on either side. Alerted to the sudden Imperial presence, Galen sent his daughter into hiding, guided by his wife, while he confronted his old friend outside the homestead. When Krennic expressed surprise at Erso's choice of a lonely, agrarian lifestyle, the scientist agreed, claiming Lyra had passed away. Krennic, skeptical, ordered the house searched and turned to Erso to explain his visit. The Death Star, he revealed, was still unfinished, and the only hope for its completion lay in Erso's advanced research into crystallography. Erso protested on moral grounds, but they were interrupted by Lyra, who held the cloaked Imperial officer at gunpoint in an effort to prevent her husband's abduction. After failing to convince her to drop the weapon, Krennic ordered his troopers to execute Lyra, but not before taking a blaster bolt to the shoulder. Thereafter, Krennic was again rejoined with Galen, whilst Jyn concealed herself from the troopers.
Persuading the Empire
- "Your TIE Defender program is at risk. Orson Krennic has been quite persuasive about diverting the funding to his own project: Stardust."
"The Emperor has assured me that he supports my project."
"In my view, Director Krennic's project has been nothing but expenses and excuses for years on end."
- ―Grand Moff Tarkin and Grand Admiral Thrawn
Twelve years later,[source?] the secrecy of the project showed signs of unraveling. Krennic was alerted by a death trooper that Gerrera, joined by two other rebels, had hijacked a cargo transport carrying a massive kyber crystal, which ended in the destruction of the asset. These rebels had previously discovered and destroyed a similar kyber crystal and had found evidence of a large-scale Imperial construction project on Geonosis.
At some point in time, after sifting through files from Imperial Intelligence, Krennic learned that the planet Mustafar had been the site where Vader had been injured and lost the use of his limbs.
Despite the potential leakage, Krennic was successful in gaining continued support for his project from the Imperial ranks. For instance, Grand Admiral Thrawn was informed by Tarkin that his TIE/d "Defender" Multi-Role Starfighter Project was at risk and implied its future was uncertain as Krennic was being persuasive with the potential of the Death Star. Simultaneously, Tarkin expressed his private view that Krennic had done nothing but waste the Empire's time and money on the project.
Combatting the Defender
- Tarkin: "I propose that if Admiral Thrawn is able to solve this problem and destroy the grallocs, the necessary funds be restored to his Defender program."
- Palpatine: "Director Krennic?"
- Krennic: "I would be willing. If Admiral Thrawn can destroy them within the next week."
- Savit: "That's hardly fair. As I said, Governor Haveland has been dealing with these things for years."
- Krennic: "If Admiral Thrawn can't solve it in that time, he's of no use to us. It would also, I daresay, bring his so-called problem-solving capabilities into serious question."
- ―Krennic negotiates conditions[src]
In approximately 0 BBY,[source?] Tarkin organized a meeting to discuss the various delays plaguing Project: Stardust. Although originally scheduled to be on Coruscant, the meeting's location was changed to the Imperial Star Destroyer Firedrake. During the meeting, Tarkin proposed Thrawn wager funding for his TIE Defender project on his ability to solve an issue with Stardust supply lines. Thrawn accepted, and Krennic begrudgingly agreed. However, Krennic went on to add time constraints and other restrictions to the Grand Admiral's task. Krennic hoped for Thrawn to fail within the given time so Defender funding would be given to Stardust.
Krennic sent his loyal subordinate, Assistant Director Brierly Ronan, to join Thrawn during the operation. Although Thrawn did solve Stardust's problem, the details of his success did not technically meet Krennic's requirements. Thrawn's TIE Defender funding was therefore given to Stardust, which was all that mattered to Krennic, since the project itself was scrapped for good during a colossal blunder on Lothal.
- "When has become now, Director Krennic. The Emperor will tolerate no further delay."
- ―Grand Moff Tarkin
As the project neared completion in 0 BBY, Krennic boarded Tarkin's Star Destroyer, the Executrix, and watched the long-anticipated installation of the superlaser in the Grand Moff's presence. Impatient, Tarkin condemned Krennic with news of a recent security breach — a defecting cargo pilot who had reported the nature of the weapon to Gerrera's band of rebels. When Tarkin theorized that the Senate would sympathize with the rebellion should they discover the project, Krennic protested that a completed Death Star would render secrecy unnecessary. Tarkin, still skeptical, admonished the Director and suggested that the weapon be tested on the moon of Jedha, where news of the weapon had been leaked, warning him of those he would have to confront if the test were a failure. Confident in the weapon he had spent nineteen years building, Krennic defiantly told Tarkin that he would not fail. Krennic considered the possibility that Tarkin was setting him up for sabotage to the point that should the Death Star fail in its objective at Jedha, Tarkin would use his alliance with Vader to shield himself from the punishment that would theoretically befall him and Krennic. Krennic then resolved to reach out to his contacts within Tarkin's inner circle at the same time that he would be making final preparations for the Death Star.
The Death Star's completion
Destruction of Jedha City
- "Oh, it's beautiful."
- ―Orson Krennic, on the destruction of Jedha City
When the Death Star was completed, Krennic met with the Grand Moff and other high-ranking members of the Empire and ordered the battle station into orbit over Jedha. However, the Director was disappointed to see that neither the Emperor, nor his favored emissary Darth Vader, were present for the occasion. Tarkin explained that their absence served as a protection for Krennic should another failure occur during the testing of the weapon.
Intending to overcome this disappointment and showcase the full potential of the Death Star, Krennic readied the superlaser to destroy the entirety of the desert moon. Tarkin, on the other hand, ordered a weaker blast to avoid public exposure. Acquiescing, Krennic targeted Jedha City and, consummating decades' worth of work, smote the city with a single-reactor ignition of the superlaser. As he watched the shock waves of the blast radiate across the moon's surface, Krennic remarked on its beauty. The resulting explosion reduced the city, Saw Gerrera's fanatical rebel cell, and the last remnants of the Jedi all to ash.
The blast exceeded Tarkin's expectations and put to rest the remaining doubts about the Death Star's viability as a weapon for the Empire. Impressed by its power, the Grand Moff announced that he would be immediately taking command of the battle station. An enraged Krennic openly challenged Tarkin, declaring the Death Star to be his achievement. Yet Tarkin, unfazed, held Krennic to be incompetent and revealed that the defecting pilot had originated from the Imperial facility on Eadu, all on the Director's watch. Still seething, Krennic left to deal with the defector personally.
At a meeting of the Joint Chiefs in the Death Star conference room, Krennic vigorously reaffirmed the battle station's destructive power, slamming his fist on the conference table and insisting that it could wipe out much more than a city. Cassio Tagge, present at the meeting as Chief of the Imperial Army, admired Krennic's resolve, but found his antics somewhat childish.
Crisis on Eadu
- "Gentlemen. One of you has betrayed the Empire. One of you conspired with a pilot to send messages to the Rebellion. I urge that traitor to step forward."
- ―Orson Krennic
Determined to find the Rebel collaborator, Krennic arranged for a meeting with Galen Erso and his team of scientists — Sirro Argonne, Rasett Milio, Vlex Onopin, Ames Uravan, and Feyn Vann — at their laboratory on the stormy planet Eadu. Krennic, flanked by his squadron of death troopers, arrived and assembled Erso's research team. Gathering them on an open platform, the Director announced his knowledge of the conspiracy and instructed the traitor to expose himself. When no response came, Krennic concluded that the scientists conspired in a "group effort" and readied his troopers for a firing squad execution. At this moment Erso intervened and confessed to the act, but the Director ordered the other scientists executed nonetheless. Krennic then knocked Erso to the ground, advising him of the successful discharge of the Death Star's superlaser upon Jedha City. Suddenly, the two were attacked by several Rebel Alliance T-65B X-wing starfighters in an ambush that killed Galen and led Krennic to flee, but not before observing Erso's daughter, Jyn, who had arrived on Eadu contemporaneously.
Struggle for influence
- "Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, Director."
- ―Darth Vader
With Galen Erso silenced, Krennic sought to reclaim control of the Death Star from Tarkin. However, he knew that the only way for him to supplant the Grand Moff was to gain the favor of the Emperor. Determined to be granted an audience, Krennic's opportunity came when he received a summons from Darth Vader to come to his personal fortress on the planet Mustafar. Despite his fear of the mysterious Dark Lord, the Director knew that Vader had direct access to the Emperor and could potentially petition the reclusive ruler to grant Krennic an audience.
Traveling to Mustafar, Krennic was greeted by Vader on a platform overlooking the volcanic landscape of the planet. The Dark Lord expressed his concern that the Death Star had become more of a problem than the solution it was meant to be, citing Krennic's inability to keep the project a secret. The Director defended himself and his creation, claiming that he had delivered a remarkable weapon to the Emperor. He petitioned the Dark Lord to grant him an opportunity to personally meet with the Emperor and advise him of the Death Star's unprecedented potential. Vader was far more concerned with the awareness that was growing around the battle station's existence. Rumors had reached the higher levels of the Empire of the destruction of Jedha City and the attack on the Eadu facility by the Rebellion. While Krennic tried to shift blame onto Tarkin for ordering the demonstration on Jedha, the Dark Lord was not impressed by this futile effort. He reminded the Director that the secrecy behind the Death Star project was paramount to prevent open defiance from the Senate. While Imperial authorities had passed off the Jedha incident as a mining disaster, Galen Erso's treachery could have been a bitter blow. Vader told Krennic not to rest until he could ensure the Emperor that the Death Star project had not been compromised by Erso's betrayal.
As the Dark Lord made to leave, Krennic made a last plea for his continued control of the project, hoping to remain in command of the battle station. However, Vader's patience had run thin. When Krennic asked him to speak to the Emperor on his behalf, the Dark Lord choked the Director using the Force. After Krennic fell to his knees, Vader warned him to temper his ambitions lest they cause his downfall, before releasing him. As Vader left the recovering Krennic on the floor, Krennic determined that Tarkin had not yet won and that the Grand Moff's failure to take the Death Star and blockade Jedha could later be used against him. As Krennic was accompanied out of the facility, Vader's aide gave him a gentle warning to keep all that he had seen in the facility to himself.
Battle of Scarif and death
- "The shield is up. Your signal will never reach the Rebel base. All your ships in here will be destroyed. I lose nothing but time. You, on the other hand, die with the Rebellion."
- ―Orson Krennic's last words, to Jyn Erso.
Learning that the Death Star plans could be vulnerable to attack, Krennic ventured to the tropical world of Scarif, where a full technical readout of the station was available. Upon arrival, Krennic was extremely displeased by the condition of the facility. General Sotorus Ramda and his garrison had grown complacent and lax, trusting the automated defenses of Scarif's Citadel Tower to do their jobs for them. Brushing off Ramda's greeting, Krennic demanded that all of Galen Erso's dispatches be called up for inspection immediately. Shortly afterward, explosions erupted across Scarif's horizon, visible to all those present in the tower. Whirling around to face the command center, a frustrated Krennic ordered the local garrison to be deployed. Not long afterward, news came that a rebel fleet was amassing outside Scarif's protective Shield Gate, whereupon Krennic ordered the base to be locked down completely.
As the resident Imperial forces engaged the Rebels, Krennic was horrified to learn from a lieutenant that the data vault had been accessed without authorization. Deducing that rebels had infiltrated the vault in an attempt to thieve the Death Star plans, and irritated with the state of the battle, the Director ordered his death-trooper squad into combat but held two back as an escort to the data vault. Entering the vault through an auxiliary door, Krennic and his guards found Captain Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso in the process of stealing the tape. In the subsequent shootout, both of Krennic's death-trooper escorts were killed, but Krennic managed to shoot Andor with his DT-29 heavy blaster pistol. Presuming him dead, Krennic followed Erso to a deck near the top of the tower, where she was attempting to transmit the plans to the Alliance fleet. Holding her at gunpoint, Krennic learned that Erso was the daughter of his old friend, Galen, and that she had exposed the vulnerability her father had built into the station. Krennic sneered in response, noting that the signal would be unable to penetrate Scarif's shield and that the Imperial forces were poised for a tactical victory. Before he could kill her, however, Andor, who had survived, wounded Krennic with a shot to his shoulder. The Director then fell to the floor, incapacitated, as Jyn transmitted the plans to the Rebel flagship Profundity, where they were received by Admiral Raddus.
As Erso and Andor left, the Death Star, commanded by Tarkin, emerged out of hyperspace over Scarif. In an ultimately vain effort to prevent the Rebels' heist of the plans, Tarkin targeted the compromised Imperial base. Krennic, injured and in pain on the tower platform, looked to the sky and found the sphere of the Death Star looming over him; he had little time to reflect on the irony of dying at the hand of the superweapon he had spent nearly his entire life making. As he beheld the weapon, Krennic thought about Tarkin, believing that the Grand Moff's impatience and political commitments would lead him to overlook the station's architectural weaknesses. Indeed, Krennic saw the flaw that Erso had spoken of: a single thermal exhaust port that fed into the station's main reactor, the deliberate, posthumous revenge of Galen Erso. The Death Star then fired a single-reactor ignition, blasting through Krennic's position at the top of the tower before striking the distant seaside. All planetary forces, including Erso and Andor, were swallowed by the resulting explosion.
- "For playing such a significant role in Imperial weapons development, Krennic received little credit in historical records. That would have irritated him, and for that I'm glad."
- ―Leia Organa in The Rebel Files
Within minutes of Krennic's death, the Death Star plans were successfully stolen, and they fell into the hands of Princess Leia Organa. A few days later, Grand Moff Tarkin convened another meeting of the Joint Chiefs to report that the Senate had been dissolved. He then explained that the Empire would maintain control of the galaxy through fear of the Death Star, just as Krennic had predicted. Tarkin later unleashed the full scale of the station's power on Leia's homeworld, the subversive planet of Alderaan. After Leia's rescue by a group of Rebels that were tracked to the Alliance's headquarters on the jungle moon of Yavin, Tarkin moved the Death Star near the planet in an effort to crush the Rebellion with one swift stroke. However, in the subsequent battle, Luke Skywalker, the unknown son of Vader himself, fired a pair of proton torpedoes into Erso's deliberate design flaw, which the Rebels had discovered through analysis of the stolen plans. Skywalker's torpedoes ruptured the main reactor, as Krennic had envisioned in his dying thoughts, causing a cataclysmic explosion that tore apart his creation. However, his rival Tarkin perished in the blast, as did over a million other personnel, resulting in a brutal blow from which the Empire never truly recovered.[source?]
Despite Krennic's mixed legacy as a director, the Advanced Weapons Research agency remained in existence, and was tasked with building a second, more advanced Death Star, which underwent construction in orbit of Endor's Forest Moon, supervised by Moff Tiaan Jerjerrod, who helped build the first Death Star. However, Rebel pilots Lando Calrissian and Nien Nunb managed to destroy it with the Millennium Falcon during the Battle of Endor.
During the battle of Scarif, Grand Moff Tarkin thought about what Krennic's legacy would be. While Tarkin noted that the weapon demonstration on Jedha City had proved spectacular in his eyes, he ultimately believed the director would only be a footnote in Imperial history, and Krennic would always be tied to the "mining disaster" on Jedha. Tarkin also considered discipline aboard the Death Star "less than perfect" under Krennic's direction, stating as much to Chief Gunner Endo Frant following a failed test firing of the battle station's superlaser at Rango Tan. When The Rebel Files were recovered by the Resistance in 34 ABY, Organa noted that Krennic received little credit in historical records despite his significant role in the development of Imperial weapons, something that certainly would have irritated him, and for which Organa was glad. Despite not getting credit in the history of this time period, Orson Krennic was remembered by the Whills. Krennic was mentioned by name, along with Jyn Erso and K-2SO, by a member of the Whills as someone to be remembered in galactic history sometime after the Battle of Endor.
Personality and traits
- "We stand here amidst MY achievement! NOT yours!"
- ―Orson Krennic, to Wilhuff Tarkin, claiming credit for the Death Star
Orson Krennic was a human male with short gray hair, blue eyes, and light skin. He wore a white Imperial military uniform, similar to those used by members of the ISB, like Colonel Wullf Yularen, with an unusual addition of a white cape not commonly seen on other Imperial officers. Krennic sought to earn the favor of Emperor Palpatine, using his knowledge of the Empire's system to manipulate it and ascend in the Imperial hierarchy. He was known to be unpredictable and volatile. During his time as part of the Futures Program, Krennic was renowned for his "nocturnal carousing" and partying, as well as frequently coming to Galen's rescue to ward off his tormentors. He had lofty aspirations and a high opinion of himself and his capabilities, feeling that he deserved respect within the Empire's ranks.
He was not afraid to go toe-to-toe with other highly placed officials of the Galactic Empire, including Mas Amedda. He had a rivalry with Grand Moff Tarkin, who did share his optimism regarding Project Stardust. When Tarkin used the event of Galen Erso's defection to position himself at the helm of the newly minted battle station, Krennic was infuriated. Krennic would travel to Mustafar with the audacity to make a direct request of Darth Vader, asking if he could be put in charge of the Death Star, which led the irritated Sith Lord to Force-choke him.
Krennic was devoid of many human qualities such as compassion, mercy, and regard for innocent lives. Additionally, he remarked on the subsequent cloud of flame and smoke as something of beauty, unremorseful of having just murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people. He was also dismissive of the Force and its importance in the galaxy, speaking of having just destroyed the last remnants of the Jedi with undisguised pride. Krennic was willing to kill people who served him, such as when he ordered the execution of the scientists on Eadu despite Galen having just admitted to being the traitor among the development staff. He also showed at least some sadism, as after knocking Galen to the ground, Krennic gloated about his use of the Death Star in the destruction of Jedha City, specifically noting every element of Jedha City, including Saw's Partisans, being gone as a result.
Krennic was not afraid to take get into combat if necessary. Flanked by two death troopers, he rushed to the data vault of Scarif Base and fought to prevent, although unsuccessfully, the theft of the Death Star plans by Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso. He was also somewhat sarcastic, especially when irritated with his underlings' incompetence, as upon witnessing the explosions triggered by the Rebel forces alongside everyone else in Citadel Tower, Krennic bluntly yelled to the present personnel (who were still staring out towards the explosions) "Are we blind?!" before ordering the deployment of the base's garrison to drive off the attackers. In battle, Krennic had a DT-29 heavy blaster pistol which he owned personally.
Skills and abilities
Behind the scenes
- "Krennic believes in the Empire very thoroughly. He sees it as a way of maintaining order and that the Empire is essentially correct in what it does. But he is someone from the outer colonies, a guy who has worked his way up. He's not officer class, but he's gotten to where he is because he's driven and can just do it, and he knows that."
- ―Ben Mendelsohn on Krennic
Orson Krennic is portrayed by Ben Mendelsohn in the Star Wars Anthology Series film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Mendelsohn's casting in the film was first announced on August 15, 2015, and the character was revealed in the first teaser trailer for the film on April 7, 2016.
Krennic was originally conceived by John Knoll as a character for the unproduced Star Wars live-action TV show, but the series was put on hold indefinitely. The character in Knoll's original story draft was a double agent in Jyn Erso's Rogue One team reporting to the Imperial Security Bureau, specifically to his boss Willix Cree. In addition, one of the earlier planned endings for the story had Krennic somehow surviving the Death Star's blast on Scarif unlike Erso and Cassian only to be executed aboard a Star Destroyer by Darth Vader for failing to stop the Death Star plans theft. This was cut, however, as the writer couldn't come up with any good explanation of how Krennic could have survived the Death Star's blast on Scarif.
Mendelsohn pondered if he should portray Krennic with a "posh English accent": Rogue One director Gareth Edwards responded he didn't need to. "It feels like if the Empire ever have a job vacancy, they go to the Royal Shakespeare Company to headhunt people," the filmmaker later commented. "I like the idea that Ben's character was much more working-class." The character's distinctive white uniform was inspired by that worn in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope by Wullf Yularen, which costume designer Glyn Dillon thought made a great look for a villain. Additionally, costume designer David Crossman stated that Krennic's white uniform also served as a perfect contrast with Darth Vader.
Although Krennic, and his Stardust project, were mentioned in the fourth season of Star Wars Rebels, Krennic ultimately didn't appear in the series due to the creative decision of the show's executive producer Dave Filoni, stating that he wasn't sure that adding many Star Wars villains together worked for him. Despite Filoni's decision, an earlier draft of the episode "A Fool's Hope" included a scene featuring the show's antagonists plotting about the Empire's future, which would have called for the inclusion of Krennic. However, the scene was cut early on in spite of the fact that Krennic's appearance was already designed.
- LEGO Star Wars Movie Short: Star Wars: Rogue One As Told By LEGO
- Star Wars: Rivals
- Disney Magic Kingdoms (Indirect mention only)