Jimmy Smits Confirms ‘Star Wars’ Cameo in ‘Rogue One’
The list of known Star Wars characters showing up in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story keeps getting longer. In the past few months, we learned that both Rebellion leader Mon Montha and little-known bad guy Darth Vader would both be making appearances in the new standalone film. Now we can add Senator Bail Organa of the doomed planet Alderaan to that list.
During an interview with morning television show The Talk (via io9) this past week, actor Jimmy Smits was shown a screenshot from the recent Star Wars Celebration trailer that seemed to show the actor on set for the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story production. Despite being visibly uncomfortable with the amount of attention this screenshot was getting on the internet, Smits relented and admitted he may show up in Rogue One, at least for a moment.
Can you say the word ‘cameo’? Can you say the words ‘small part’?
Now, as far as Star Wars guest spots go, a brief appearance by Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa isn’t exactly the kind of earth-shattering update that many fans were looking for. Organa, though, is one of the more interesting characters to emerge from Episodes I, II, and III. I had occasion to re-watch the Star Wars prequels not too long ago (don’t ask), and while you can and should tear into Hayden Christensen’s performance as Anakin Skywalker or George Lucas’s reliance on digital backgrounds in nearly every scene, the political manipulations by Senator Palpatine — and the attempts by Bail Organa to keep the Senate in check — stand out as some of the smarter parts of the movies.
Lucas came very close to turning Star Wars into a powerful story about people who gave up their civil liberties in the name of fear. Like much of the prequels, it doesn’t quite work, but having Organa in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will allow Lucasfilm to continue to bridge the gap between Episode III and Episode IV and show us how quickly things fell apart for the galaxy after Palpatine and Vader ascended to power. Organa was one of the men who never stopped resisting the Empire through channels both legal and illegal; he is exactly the kind of character you would want to bring back to bridge the two existing trilogies.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16, 2016.