Published On: Thu, Aug 11th, 2016

‘Star Wars Rogue One’: Riz Ahmed details Bodhi Rook, ties to Empire and the Rebel Force

While promoting The Night Of, airing Sunday nights on HBO, actor Riz Ahmed opened up about his role in Star Wars: Rogue One, officially titled Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. During his chat with EW, Ahmed talked about just how his character, Bodhi Rook, came to be involved with the Rebellion despite ties to the Empire.

Bodhi Rook joined the Rebellion after he was conscripted to serve as a pilot for the Empire, who Ahmed described as “a cargo pilot…in our world, a long-distance truck driver,” but he soon defected. Producer Kathleen Kennedy described Rook, saying that “He tends to be a little tense, a little volatile, but everybody in the group really relies on his technical skills.”

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Ahmed joked that Kennedy was probably talking as much about him as she was about Bodhi, he admitting that his character’s ornery attitude “comes from trying to make the best of bad options.”

“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.”

Bodhi still wears the Imperial insignia as a patch on his jacket in some of the promotional photos. Ahmed says the mark goes deeper than that simple patch, and his character is not trying to hide from anything.

“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.”

star-wars-rogue-one-riz-ahmed as Bohdi Rook rebelEW pokes a bit about a fancy ship or catchy name associated with Rook, Ahmed said “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 then says all of the rebels have something to prove.

“Everyone in this Star Wars movie has got quite a complex past. They have a lot of baggage and history to it. That’s part of what makes it an interesting, nuanced movie. It’s taking characters with interesting backgrounds, whether it’s warrior monks, or ex-assassins, or long-distance truck drivers, and you’re assembling this pack of misfits.”

Rogue One stars Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, a strong female leader of the rebels, which include actors Jiang Wen, Donnie Yen and Diego Luna. Forest Whitaker plays a strong role with Jimmy Smits confirmed to make an appearance as Bail Organa. Darth Vader will also make some sort of appearance with Ben Mendelsohn and Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen two of the big names joining the franchise.

Star Wars as Rogue One arrives in theaters on December 16, 2016.

rogue-one-new-image riz ahmed bohdi rook photo

Star Wars Rogue One teaser poster death star in the background

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About the Author

- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.

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