Right now, viewers are being reminded every Sunday night of how incredible of a talent Riz Ahmed is in HBO’s The Night Of (which if you’re not watching already, you should be), but he’s also set to star in one of this year’s biggest films with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in December. His character, Bodhi Rook, has been described as a hothead new pilot for the Rebellion previously, but it looks like some new light has been shed on one of the film’s more mysterious characters.
While speaking recently with EW, Ahmed spoke briefly about Bodhi’s history with the Empire, discussing the character’s time with the evil government, and what inspired him to transfer over to the Rebel Alliance, something we’re also set to see later this year in the Star Wars universe when Rebels introduces Wedge Antilles.
When asked about the character’s imperial patch on his shoulder (as seen in some of the film’s promotional images), Ahmed explained:
“I think it’s to remind you of where you’re coming from, remind you where your debts are. Do you know what I mean? For me personally, every day, looking at that, it reminds you of what you’ve done.”
Bodhi is less of a high-profile pilot for the Empire though, and is basically the space equivalent of a truck driver, a cargo pilot who carries that same no-nonsense mindset into his service with the Rebels as well:
“A character like Bodhi is not born into the life of a soldier. He’s a pilot working for the Empire, doing his job, getting on with it. But when you put ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, it can freak them out. It can inspire deep passions. So I’m gonna defend Bodhi.”
The actor says that there’s a big difference between his character and some of the other Star Wars pilots we’ve met already, like Han Solo for instance, who usually introduces himself and the Millennium Falcon in the same sentence:
“The feel of this film is quite rough and ready, and so is the mission and so are the characters, and so is the coming together of the characters. So the idea of people having special ships that they spit-shine and say, ‘Hey, this is my ship called the XYZ,’ that’s not of this world. This world is more about ‘Grab what you can, and let’s roll.'”
Ahmed also promises that the rest of the characters in the film as a “pack of misfits,” which already makes it sound more and more like the heroes of Rogue One are going to fit in perfectly with some of the franchise’s most memorable teams. Considering the cast that they’ve assembled as well, including Ahmed and some of the best character actors working today (looking at you Ben Mendelsohn), I’d say that Rogue One will, at the very least, have one of the best ensembles we’ve seen so far this year. Whether or not it manages to live up to its own hype however, will have to wait to be seen.
Rogue One is set to hit theatres on December 16th.
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