Up and coming actor Riz Ahmed, who stole scenes in Nightcrawler and next appears in this summer's Jason Bourne, has a key role in the December spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But don't expect him to tell you which character he is playing or how he fits into the story. All of those details are being kept under wraps. What he will say about this next live-action Star Wars adventure is that we should expect the unexpected. And at its core, Rogue One is a War story.
The main plot in Rogue One follows a group of Rebel Soldiers who infiltrate the ranks of the Imperial Army to steal plans for the first Death Star. It is being set up as a prequel to the 1977 classic Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. And it's being compared to a sci-fi version of Saving Private Ryan. About the movie and what we can expect, Riz Ahmed had this to say to HeyUGuys.com
"In a weird way, this hasn't been like a machine. What Gareth Edwards is bringing to Rogue One is incredible, organic, loose, kind of a raw feeling. When Gareth speaks about Rogue One, he spoke about it in terms of a War movie. And he compares it to other War movies. What it will bring is a fresh pair of eyes on a familiar world. I think that is real exciting. We're doing something a little different to the other films. And hopefully people are ready for that, and will embrace it."
The actor was asked about the diversity on screen in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The movie's cast is made up of a wide array of ethnicities, and has a female lead. It's perhaps one of the most wide ranging casts seen in a Hollywood film as of late. But Riz Ahmed doesn't look at this spinoff as being diverse. Instead, he calls it an honest depiction of society reflected back in a sci-fi adventure that everyone can enjoy.
"It's been really cool. Because Star Wars is such a touchstone for cinema. It really has been for decades. It's really cool to see them leading the way for diversity. I wouldn't even call it diversity. I would call it honesty, really. They're lining their films with a sign of the times we're living in. Felicity has the lead role in Rogue One. And you have Diego Luna, Donnie Yen and Wen Jiang in there as well. It's really cool to see that franchise lead the way, and bring us into line with reality a little more."
Finally, Riz Ahmed spoken about his director, Gareth Edwards. The filmmaker is responsible for rebooting the Godzilla franchise for American audiences. And it sounds like he is putting his own unique spin on the Star Wars universe. About working alongside Gareth Edwards to make the best Star Wars possible, Riz had this to say about his boss.
"He's such a down to earth, relaxed, normal dude with a wicked sense of humor. He doesn't bring any ego to the table. It's not like a big boss on set. He puts everyone at ease. Lets everyone relax. He creates a working environment where everyone can have some input, everyone can bring something to the table. He brings out the best in everyone. So, hopefully some of it stuck. And I look forward to it."
It isn't known when the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer will drop. But when it does, we're sure to see Riz Ahmed's character in action. Until then, we'll have to rely on these little nuggets of information in terms of how the project is coming together. This is the first of many planned spinoffs. The next one will be Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo in 2018. And then we'll get a Boba Fett standalone adventure in 2020.