Star Wars Lore Episode – The Backstory of Jyn Erso
Kestrel Dawn. Tanith Ponta. Liana Hallik. These were all aliases Jyn Erso used on her unlikely journey from a petty criminal to a hero of the Rebel Alliance. But what events led her to that point, and how exactly did she become the heroine we all know today? Well, let's find out...
Rebel From Birth
As the daughter of Galen Erso, a pacifist scientist who worked for Zerpen Industries, Jyn faced a turbulent childhood from the get-go. In fact, she was born within the confines of a Separatist prison on Vallt, due to her father's refusal to help the Confederacy's war effort. Around six months later, however, the Erso family's fortunes took a drastic and unexpected turn for the better. More specifically, they were rescued by Lieutenant Commander Orson Krennic of the Republic Navy. Jyn and her family spent the next several years in an apartment on Coruscant, meaning they witnessed first-hand the fall of the Galactic Republic and the rise of the Galactic Empire. Despite this, Krennic convinced Galen to work as an Imperial on a sustainable kyber crystal energy project. The work involved was incredibly intensive, to say the least. And so, he and his daughter grew somewhat distant. Jyn was essentially cared for by an MV nanny droid, and left to watch her favourite bedtime holodramas.
Galen eventually came around to the idea that his research was being used for nefarious ends. But resignation was simply not an option for an Imperial of his importance. Realising this, he coordinated an effort with Onderonian freedom fighter Saw Gerrera to ensure his family's escape from Coruscant. And just like that, the Ersos found themselves on a shuttle headed for Lah'mu.
Carving a New Life
While Jyn found it difficult to leave her nanny droid and plethora of toys behind, she soon grew accustom to the quiet life of Lah'mu. Unfortunately, four years later, the idea of peace was shattered by the arrival of Krennic. Lyra was killed soon thereafter, and Galen was taken against his will to complete the kyber crystal project. This left Jyn alone and in hiding for what seemed like a lifetime. Yet the friendly face of Saw Gerrera soon emerged to raise the youngster like a daughter of his very own. The freedom fighter tried to shield Jyn from the atrocities committed by his insurgents, as a result. Though, somewhat inevitably, the twelve-year-old became involved with their fight against the Empire.
At the age of sixteen, Jyn accompanied many of her fellow Partisans on a covert mission to Tamsye Prime, where they began to scout an Imperial munitions factory. Little did they know that they had a traitor in their midst. So when the time was right, one of their supposed comrades tipped off the Empire for a deadly ambush. Gerrera quickly passed Erso a blaster and ordered her into a nearby bunker, claiming her would return when the chaos died down. Saw never did come back. Jyn was forced to fend for herself, as a result. And while she did manage to escape the planet, she couldn't help but feel betrayed by yet another father-figure. The event left her unwilling to easily trust others.
In the following months and years, Jyn utilised every scamming trick in the book as means of getting by. Though that all changed upon meeting Akshaya Ponta and her children. Her relationship with the cargo ship pilot may have began with deceit, yet her trust issues were placed to one side in order to live a happy life. Erso even formed a loving relationship with the son of the family, Hadder. However, their symbiotic existence was shattered by the Empire, who tracked Jyn down with brute force. Their efforts, while unsuccessful, resulted in the shocking deaths of Akshaya and Hadder. This left her grief-stricken and orphaned for a third time.
The Calm Before The Storm
Jyn spent the next five years doing anything and everything she could to survive, whether it be as a street fighter, smuggler, or petty criminal. She also bounced around between worlds such as Cera, Coyerti, and Takodana, racking up accusations of forging documents, shipjacking, possession of unsanctioned weapons, disorderly conduct, unlawful conduct with undesirables, and resisting arrest. And even she was arrested, Erso had enough pull to escape or bribe her way to freedom. But her luck ran out in 0 BBY, as she was apprehended and transferred to an Imperial labour camp on Wobani. Left beside her cellmate “Kennel”, who promised to kill her sooner rather than later, Jyn was left without any friends and without any weapons to protect herself. Her day certainly felt numbered. More specifically, the prison's maximum life expectancy of five years seemed like an unobtainable goal. All hope was lost. Or at least Jyn thought. Little did she know what her future had in store...
Now it's time for this week's question: do you think any of the Rogue One crew should have survived the Battle of Scarif? Let us know in the comments below.