At the beginning of the week, we were treated to a new Captain Marvel trailer packed with cool footage. Most of the preview delved into Carol Danvers’ mysterious past with the Kree, part of which includes being mentored by Jude Law’s character, the commander of Starforce. A couple days before the new trailer dropped, a leaked toy image identified Law’s character as Yon-Rogg. While Marvel hasn’t officially confirmed if this is true (that Pop! figure on Funko’s website is now simply labeled ‘Star Commander’), it would make perfect sense given Yon-Rogg’s comic book background and what we can expect from Captain Marvel.
First off, it should noted that when Jude Law was first reported about being eyed for Captain Marvel, he was said to be playing Mar-Vell, Marvel Comics’ original Captain Marvel. This would be fitting since Mar-Vell plays a key role in Carol Danvers’ comic book origin story, as she gained her powers when the Kree Magnetron device that exploded merged her DNA with Mar-Vell’s Kree DNA. The Captain Marvel movie wouldn’t necessarily depict this event bear for beat, but as least it would make sense for him to be around as Carol gets her start in the MCU.
Alas, since that initial report came out, it’s never been clarified whether or not Mar-Vell is appearing in Captain Marvel, let alone if Jude Law is playing him. Around the same time that Law’s participation in Captain Marvel was revealed, a rumor surfaced that Yon-Rogg would be a player in the movie. However, it was initially believed that Ben Mendelsohn would be playing Yon-Rogg, and we’ve since learned that the actor is actually playing Talos, the Skrull leading an invasion on Earth.
Fast-forward to now, Jude Law is still staying tight-lipped about who he’s playing in Captain Marvel, but back in September, here’s what he had to say about his character:
He is driven by a belief in the divine leadership of the Kree people. So he’s almost a devout warrior — unquestioning, conservative, but inspirational.
This sounds similar to how Yon-Rogg is depicted in the comics. In the main Marvel universe, Yon-Rogg was a colonel in the Kree Imperial Army who veered onto the path of villainy due to his hatred towards Mar-Vell, jealous that the woman he loved, a medic named Una, had feelings for Mar-Vell instead. When Yon-Rogg his crew were sent to investigate Earth, Yon-Rogg left Mar-Vell on our world so that Una could be his, and he later sent a Kree Sentry to kill Mar-Vell. That plan failed, and thus began their long conflict with one another.
Eventually Yon-Rogg teamed up with Ronan the Accuser in an effort to overthrow the Kree empire’s Supreme Intelligence, believing that their people were better off reverting to their warlike ways. Once again, Mar-Vell interfered, and it all culminated in the Psyche-Magnetron device that Yon-Rogg had brought into battle exploding. As a result, Carol Danvers was irradiated by the machine’s energy and gained superpowers, Yon-Rogg was believed to have died. He later resurfaced alive and with his own set of powers, but that’s another story.
If Mar-Vell isn’t appearing in Captain Marvel, then obviously the Yon-Rogg we might be seeing on the big screen wouldn’t be a close adaptation of his comic book predecessor. However, going off of Jude Law’s description, one can imagine the MCU’s Yon-Rogg as being fiercely dedicated to the Kree empire. But because of his conservative outlook, he also believes that the Kree are superior to all other alien species, so you can imagine he’d be upset if there’s ever a situation where the Kree look weak in his eyes.
Jude Law also mentioned that his character sees Carol Danvers’ (or as she’s known among the Kree, Vers) powers as a “blessing” and something she has to learn how to control, which is why he’s training her. How do you think he’ll react when Carol abandons the Kree empire upon learning about her old life on Earth. The Skrulls may be the main villains in Captain Marvel, but you can bet that if Carol in any way interferes with the Kree coming out victorious against their shapeshifting adversaries, Yon-Rogg will do everything in his power to neutralize her, resulting in him being more reminiscent of how he’s depicted on the printed page.
Yon-Rogg’s inclusion in Captain Marvel could also help pave the way for another character’s turn to villainy. One of Carol’s fellow Starforce members is Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser, who we watched in Guardians of the Galaxy try to destroy Xandar because he didn’t recognize the peace treaty between his people and the Xandarians. Ronan was declared a “radical” and “zealot,” but what set him on that path?
Maybe Ronan’s obsession with the ancient laws came from his time with Yon-Rogg, or maybe he already held those beliefs and simply found a kindred spirit in Yon-Rogg, which led to him being recruited to Starforce. Either way, if Yon-Rogg is defeated/killed during Captain Marvel, that could be the event that pushes Ronan to radicalism, and once the Kree/Xandar treaty is signed years later, then he becomes a full-blown terrorist. So not only would Yon-Rogg’s inclusion provide another challenge for Carol Danvers, it would also indirectly set the stage for the Guardians of the Galaxy’s first mission together.
As one comes to expect with any Marvel movie, there are a lot of unanswered questions about Captain Marvel, and who knows whether the identity of Jude Law’s character will be revealed in later marketing or saved for the movie itself. Still, it’s looking more likely that Mar-Vell will not have any role to play in Captain Marvel, meaning that Yon-Rogg is not only the next best candidate, he also arguably fits better within the story that’s being told.
We’ll find out what the deal is with Jude Law’s Kree character when Captain Marvel arrives on March 8, 2019. If you’re interested in learning what other MCU movies are on the way, look through our handy guide.