8

In "Rogue One", the following exchange happens, where Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso talk about her father:

Jyn: I like to think he's dead, makes things easier.

Cassian: Easier than what? That he's being a tool of the Imperial war machine?

Jyn: I've never had the luxury of political opinions.

Jyn pretends not to care about the Empire. But even her rapsheet contradicts that: she's known for attacking Imperial officials when she gets the chance. This is confirmed by the novelization and by "Rogue One: Rebel Dossier".

Felicity Jones, the actress who portrays her, said that Jyn:

absolutely hates the Empire, so whenever she sees a Stormtrooper it's this completely instinctive reaction she has to just bash them in the head.

EDIT: She says it again in the DVD :

When Jyn sees stormtroopers, she just wants to annihilate them.

After all, the Empire killed her mother.

So why would Jyn even pretend not to be against the Empire?

  • Because saying the "wrong" opinion could get her killed. – RichS Feb 22 '17 at 6:29
  • @RichS But when she talks to members of the Rebellion (like Cassian), hating the empire is not the "wrong" opinion. – MooS Feb 22 '17 at 9:13
  • Just putting this here to be annoying. – Möoz Apr 19 '17 at 4:02
7

Although Jyn does hate the Empire, she also feels significant resentment towards the Rebel Alliance at this point in the film.

You're correct that she's pretending. Instead of telling them that she doesn't want to have anything to do with the rebellion because of the way Saw abandoned her, she's pretending not to want anything to do with them due to not believing in their cause.

Like all the best lies, this one is probably at least partially true. Saw raised Jyn from a young age as a resistance fighter, then deliberately left her behind at age 16. We know that he did this to protect her from people on the verge of discovering she was Galen Erso's missing daughter, but Jyn doesn't know that (yet).

From Jyn's point of view, Saw and the rebels abandoned her with nothing but a weapon and a few supplies. She was left without a support network, and presumably without any useful skills aside from fighting, infiltration, sabotage and general troublemaking. Her subsequent life of crime is fairly predictable from there — and that life is what led to her being in the Imperial labour camp that the Alliance squad just "rescued" her from.

On top of all this, the Rebels have just attacked her father's integrity/motives. The last thing Galen says to her as a child is to emphasise that his motives are solely concerned with protecting her, and it becomes clear later in the film that Jyn still cares for deeply for him.

Instinctively, Jyn wants nothing to do with the rebels. The threat of returning to prison, the possibility of confronting Saw, and the remote possibility of seeing her father again is what convinces Jyn to go along with their plan.

The events of the movie itself are what eventually brings Jyn back around to sympathy with the Rebel cause.

  • Apparently, the Alliance to Restore the Republic is the result of a reorganization of Bail Organa's "Rebel Command" in late 2 BBY. Earlier the same year, Organa already formally gave orders to Saw ("Ghosts of Geonosis"). But I don't know if the rebellion was this formally organized at the time when Jyn was a fighter of Saw's. – Lupin Apr 1 '17 at 6:22
  • I think she recognised them as essentially part of the same movement, regardless of factional and organisational details. Her dialogue during the interrogation scene expresses surprise that they would need her help to get in touch with Saw. – Renegade Princess Apr 1 '17 at 6:38

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