Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, the Star Wars franchise has been producing a variety of new and exciting content. In addition to the main sequels and upcoming Mandalorian live-action series, the House of Mouse broke new ground by introducing standalone movies to the galaxy far, far away. The first of these was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, with Ben Mendelsohn starring as the villainous Orson Krennic. And despite Rogue One hitting theaters back in 2016, Mendelsohn is still arguing that his villainous character was the true creator of the Death Star.
Orson Krennic was the clear villain of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, helping to set up the conflict of the movie as well as the Empire as we knew it in A New Hope. But there is some debate about his role in creating the Death Star, as Mads Mikkelson's Galen Erso was the man responsible for the weaponry (and weakness) in the space station. Ben Mendelsohn recently spoke to this debate, and is staunch about his feelings regarding Krennic's role. As he put it:
Middle manager as principal villain, it's an interesting idea. I have peddled the line and I will continue to peddle the line that he is the man that built the Death Star, even though there's a very strong argument that Mads Mikkelsen's character might have, but, you know, fuck it, right? You get the chance to claim you built the Death Star, I'm taking it. I'm running with it.
You gotta hand it to Ben Mendelsohn, the man is determined. Because despite the years that have passed, he's still defending his Rogue One's character in creating the planet destroyer known as the Death Star.
Ben Mendelsohn's comments to GQ shows how much the actor truly cares about his tenure in the Star Wars franchise. Darth Vader may have had an epic role in the standalone film, but Krennic was the primary antagonist of the blockbuster. Mendelsohn thinks it would be weird for the film's villain to be middle management, and therefore is giving the character credit for being the true mastermind behind the Death Star.
The Death Star is an iconic piece of Star Wars lore, serving as the primary weapon of the Empire during A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. Rogue One was focused on the mission for the Death Star's plans, which contained a vital weakness thanks to Galen Erso. Audiences watched as the motley crew of rebels died one by one, eventually succeeding in getting the plans, which would allow Luke to destroy the space station in Episode IV.
All things considered, Ben Mendelsohn does have legs to stand on regarding Krennic's role in creating the Death Star. The station is one big weapon, and the Imperial Officer was the Director of the Advanced Weapons Research during Rogue One. This makes the character's death all the more poetic, as he was killed by that very same weapon when Grand Moff Tarkin fired it at the Imperial Base on Scarif.