Do not proceed if you don’t want to be spoiled on one of the exciting cameos Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will bring to the big screen this December. Though, this is one surprise you may already be aware of, as it was pretty much revealed by eagle-eyed fans who attended Star Wars Celebration 2016. LucasFilm and Disney released a behind-the-scenes sizzle reel from this first standalone Star Wars spin-off during the big event. And if you looked close enough, you would have spotted a very familiar face looming around in the background, though he was mostly obscured by a camera.
The ‘he’ in question is none other than Princess Leia Organa’s adoptive father Bail Organa, played by the beloved TV and movie icon Jimmy Smits. The character was first introduced in the prequel trilogy, showing up onscreen in the second entry, 2002’s Attack of the Clones. He would later return in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith before meeting his demise offscreen in A New Hope, when Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin use Bail’s home planet of Alderaan to demonstrate the power of their new weapon the Death Star.
Jimmy Smits recently appeared on The Talk, where he confirmed that he has a small role as Bail Organa in Rogue One. He does not offer any details about his appearance in the movie, and it doesn’t sound like he’ll play a substantial role in the outcome of what happens. The actor calls the role nothing more than a cameo.
“[You] can say the word ‘small part’.”
Jimmy Smits reprised the role of Bail Organa for the 2008 video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. The character was also seen in two episodes of the current Disney XD animated series Star Wars Rebels, where he has been voiced by Phil LaMarr. Bail was originally a Senator of the Galactic Republic, whom he served with during the Clone Wars. However, he eventually was forced to be a part of the Galactic Empire, following the fall of the Republic. He however didn’t hesitate to criticize the Empire’s policies.
Rogue One takes place before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and will be a departure from the saga films but have elements that are familiar to the Star Wars universe. It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential Star Wars feel that fans have come to know. The story follows a band of Rebel freedom fighters led by Jyn Erso who set out to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star in the days leading up to the raid on this massive space station. The movie is in theaters this December. If you look hard enough, you’ll see Jimmy Smits in this Star Wars Celebration Sizzle Reel.