The man responsible for designing the flaw in the Death Star spent a lot of time in the rain in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. All of the Galen Erso scenes in the film took place in the rain. The results looked dramatic and appropriately intense, but as Mads Mikkelsen recalled to Nerdist, it didn't make for an easy filming experience. "It was hell on earth, to be honest," he said. "We started shooting in Iceland, and it turned out to be super rainy. We can't really order that, but that was the case. It looked good, and that was tremendous. Then we had all these interior scenes in the studio and at the last minute they decided, 'Hey we want more rain.'"
Mikkelsen and the rest of the cast and crew of Rogue One spent weeks working in the ice cold precipitation. Voices affected by snotty noses meant they drank lots of hot tea between takes. The rain but not the snot is on full display in the above exclusive Rogue One bonus features clip featuring Mikkelsen, Gary Whitta, and Felicity Jones discussing the dynamic between Galen and Jyn. But it's not like it was all terrible. Mikkelsen spent the time in Iceland working alongside Ben Mendelsohn, a.k.a. Director Orson Krennic.
At the Rogue One press conference, Mendelsohn shared he would sing things like "Billie Jean" and "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" in between takes. which Mikkelsen remembered vividly. He complimented his fellow actor's upbeat tone. "He's a crazy man, and I mean that in the best way. He's wonderful. He's so funny. He brings a lot of energy to the set. In outtakes, you'll probably see him singing and dancing something cheesy from a musical just before they say action. That's just the way he is. He's tremendously good at swapping in and out of character," Mikkelsen said.
"It was hell on earth." - Mads Mikkelsen
Seeing Galen and Krennic work together and also against each other added new shades to the Star Wars universe. The lab on Eadu employed a group of scientists you can imagine gathering for lunch in the middle of a hard day's work and doing their research without understanding the malicious purposes of their findings. Mikkelsen enjoyed exploring that dynamic. He said, "It was interesting, and I would like to see future films take place in the Empire. Believe it or not, we [Imperials] have families and love the same way people of the resistance love. It's interesting to see the dynamic between the two sides of the war. There's a reason why there's a war--that's because both sides believe they're right."
As for whether further explorations of the Empire would include Galen, the options are limited. The character perishes in Rogue One, so new stories would have to go backwards in time. There is some potential with series like Star Wars Rebels. If there's any chance to return to the character, Mikkelsen is in. "I'd never dreamed of being in a Star Wars film, and there I am," he said, "If they do find a way to bring me back, I would be definitely feel positively towards that."
He's learned to be careful about what he says in regards to Star Wars though. He recalled when he signed his character's name on a poster before the information was officially announced and was surprised when it raced across social media and became big news. "[I realized] things were moving fast and that I'd better say nothing," he said. He expected a call from Lucasfilm about the slip, but it didn't happen.
Mikkelsen noted the high level of secrecy exists because fans want all the information possible. "There is an extreme intensity to the fandom. They want to know everything. They want to know how it's ending and what's going to happen... and no one else wants to know anything about a film or how it ends. But with Star Wars, that's not the case. They all want to know everything before they see it," he said. He's not wrong.
Rogue One is available on digital HD on March 24 and on Blu-ray/DVD on April 4. Will you be getting Rogue One on Digital HD on Friday or waiting for the Blu-ray/DVD release next week? Head to the comments and tell me what parts you can't wait to rewatch.
Did you know Rogue One had an alternate ending, though?