Riz Ahmed Talks Rogue One’s Bodhi

Star Riz Ahmed (via Entertainment Weekly) has revealed new details about his ex-Imperial-pilot-turned-Rebel named Bodhi, who’s a major player in the onscreen team for Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm‘s prequel/spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Learn more about this new Rogue One character with a troubled past below!

RELATED: Star Wars Actor Confirms a Rogue One Cameo

“He tends to be a little tense, a little volatile, but everybody in the group really relies on his technical skills,” producer Kathleen Kennedy said of Bodhi, whose name in the Buddhist realm translates to “enlightenment” or “awakening.”

“A character like Bodhi is not born into the life of a soldier,” Ahmed says. “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. 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.”

“Long-distance truck driver” is the best description for Bodhi, who was at one time a supply shuttle pilot for Palpatine’s Empire until he woke up and joined the good guys. He’s in no hurry to forget his past, however, keeping the Imperial sprocket patch prominently on the shoulder of his jacket.

“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?” Ahmed says. “For me personally, every day, looking at that, it reminds you of what you’ve done.”

Even though Bodhi flies the same friendly skies as Han Solo, don’t expect much kinship beyond that. He doesn’t even have a signature ship to call his own, being more of a utilitarian, “I can fly anything” type ala Poe Dameron. 

“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,” Ahmed says. “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.’”

RELATED: The Rogue One Sizzle Reel from Star Wars Celebration

Rogue One tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star. Felicity Jones leads the cast as Jyn Erso alongside Mads Mikklesen who plays her father, Galen Erso. Diego Luna (Milk) stars as Captain Cassian Andor with Donnie Yen (Ip Man, Blade II) as the blind spiritual warrior Chirrut Imwe, Jiang Wen (Let the Bullets Fly, Devils on the Doorstep) as his heavily armored best friend Baze Malbus,, Alan Tudyk (Firefly) as the droid K-2SO, Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Four Lions) as the Rebel pilot Bodhi Rook, plus Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) as Saw Gerrera, a character first introduced in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Ben Mendelsohn (BloodlineMississippi Grind) as the film’s main antagonist, Director Orson Krennic.

Directed by Gareth Edwards, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set for release on December 16, 2016.