Ever since the first teaser for Rogue One featured actor Alistair Petrie as a stern Rebel leader, reading off a list of offenses committed by the captive Jyn Erso, fans have wondered: Who is that guy?
The stately woman in the white caftan is Rebel ruler Mon Mothma, played by Genevieve O’Reilly this time, although the character was first seen marshaling the troops in Return of the Jedi when Caroline Blakistan had the part.
Given how die-hard fans strain for connection, speculation steered toward Petrie’s character being someone else of note, a figure already familiar from some other sector of the Star Wars storytelling universe.
The most popular guess: Petrie (best known for The Night Manager and Cloud Atlas) was playing an Imperial defector who had grown disillusioned with the dictatorship and ultimately joined the uprising against it.
The actor’s physical similarities to Agent Kallus on the animated Star Wars: Rebels show led some to wonder if the deadly insurgent-hunter eventually switched sides, with Petrie playing an older version of him on the big screen.
Like most fan theories, it was fun while it lasted. But Rogue One director Gareth Edwards says no, Petrie is simply playing an Alliance leader we haven’t seen before. “His name’s General Draven,” Edwards says.
The filmmaker was surprised that wasn’t already widely known. “It’s no official secret,” he says. “Sometimes I read stuff online like it’s this big thing that’s been leaked, and I thought, ‘Oh, I thought people knew that.'”
So there you have it. General Draven. We don’t know much about his backstory just yet, but give it time. If an official Star Wars tie-in doesn’t fill it in, you can count on some fans to imagine their own origin story for the good general.
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