Mads Mikkelsen plays Galen Erso, the father of Jyn Erso

By Jodi Guglielmi
Updated December 09, 2016 12:17 PM
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Pick up PEOPLE’s special issue, Star Wars: The Secrets of Rogue One, on newsstands now — including a special Star Wars virtual-reality bonus with goggles included! (Or click here to order now.) And watch People Special: Star Wars Rogue One on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the PEN app on Apple TV, Roku Players, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, iOS and Android devices.

Mads Mikkelsen may play a crucial role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but the Danish actor admits he was a late convert to fandom.

“I caught the train later than my generation,” he says in PEOPLE’s Stars Wars: The Secrets of Rogue One special issue.

But after his brother raved about the film, he got on board. “It took me a little longer — until we bought VHS and could slide it into the machine and watch the whole thing. I’m all caught up now!”

Mikkelsen plays Galen Erso, the estranged father of heroine Jyn Erso. But if Star Wars history has taught fans anything, just because he’s a father doesn’t mean he’s necessarily a good guy.

“He’s working on something that’s very, very important to the Star Wars universe. He is in an Oppenheimer dilemma,” says Mikkelsen, referring to the scientist who led the development of the atomic bomb. “He has something in his hand that can make this world fantastic and beautiful, but in somebody else’s hands it can make a disaster.”

Erso must decide: “Should he keep on going, should he stop right now? What is the right thing to do?”

Check out PEOPLE’s Stars Wars: The Secrets of Rogue One, on newsstands now and featuring a virtual-reality bonus including goggles (here’s how to assemble them!). To watch the full experience and explore more exclusive virtual reality content, download the LIFE VR app for iOS and Android or visit time.com/lifevr.

If you don’t have goggles, check out the 360° video above, explorable by clicking and dragging your mouse across the screen. You’ll visit the Rogue One set and go behind the scenes of a battle between rebels and stormtroopers — a stunning interactive experience available exclusively from PEOPLE. Then get goggles and experience it in virtual reality!

Rogue One hits theaters Dec. 16.