Oct 17, 2016

Is Orson Krennic's name a reference to Orson Welles?

Is Orson Krennic's name a reference to Orson Welles?

Orson Welles is a name that conjures the notion of movie making greatness.

His greatest filming success was a movie called Citizen Kane and it is often referred to as one of the greatest movies ever made. Seriously, it's up their with the Godfather and Star Wars. 

Orson Welles
The great Orson Welles
Not just a director, Welles was a writer and actor. His performance as part of the legendary 1938 radio broadcast "The War of the Worlds" so terrorised his listeners that there was panic on the streets at the suggestion the Earth was being attacked by invaders from Mars. 

So this man was a genuine movie legend at the the time that Lucas was putting together his little space saga known as 'The Star Wars' and he considered using Orson Welles as the voice for Darth Vader.

After all, this man's voice supposedly convinced radio listeners the world was being assaulted by aliens from another planet! reports:

"Orson Welles was considered to voice the Empire’s chief enforcer, appropriate in light of his superb acting prowess and legendary radio dramatization of The War of the Worlds, the latter’s unforeseen fallout a defining moment in sci-fi history. But bringing on Welles would have violated Lucas’ rule to utilize established actors. As a result the spot opened up for Jones."

And so James Earl Jones became legendary in his own right.

Jones has been quoted as saying of the Welles suggestion that it was more than an idea Lucas had and that he went as far as contacting the man:

“I understand that George did contact Orson Welles to read for the voice of Darth Vader before he contacted me. I was out of work, and he said, ‘Do you want a day’s work?"

So here's the question.

Is Orson Krennic's name a reference to this part of Star Wars that never actually happened? 

Orson is a fairly rare name - indeed other than Krennic, the only other time I've heard it is in reference to Welles.

If this theory is true, that's some pretty sweet Star Wars trivia to know!

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