Rogue One went through many changes from first draft to final product. One of the changes was a completely different backstory and name for Riz Ahmed’s Bodhi Rook.
Rogue One has finally arrived on Blu-Ray and DVD, and with it comes the last batch of behind the scenes goings on for the wildly successful Star Wars spinoff film. As with any film, many changes were made from its initial form to the final product we see on-screen. Of note was the role Riz Ahmed (Bodhi Rook) originally believed he was to play.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ahmed revealed that the original role he signed on for was very different. In fact, Rook didn’t even exist in that draft of the script which Ahmed read:
"His name was Bokan, and he was actually Saw Gerrera’s engineer, living on a planet with a strong electromagnetic field, which meant that electronics were never working… He was actually an Imperial engineer who had been kidnapped and kind of had Stockholm Syndrome. He had been living there for so long, he kind of lost it, like Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse Now."
Image Credit: Lucasfilm
That’s not terribly far off from the shell-shocked version of Rook we ultimately saw in Rogue One. Rook was an Imperial pilot as opposed to an engineer, yes, but was still a bit of a head case thanks to the Bor Gullet. Rook was not trusted by Saw Gerrera, as opposed to Bokan’s allegiance (even if it was a case of Stockholm Syndrome) to Gerrera in the original script. Bokan’s background as an Imperial engineer was also to play a critical role in deciphering the secrets of the newly completed Death Star. More important than, say, delivering the message from Galen Erso to his daughter Jyn.
Likewise, Rook’s death scene was slightly different from what we saw on-screen.
"There was actually this one shot that was about a minute long, and it was basically Bodhi ducking and diving from Stormtroopers to try and like get the plug to where he wanted it to go while Donnie and Jyn, when Chirrut and Baze were kind of flanking him.Every time he’d get sprung by a Stormtrooper, Donnie would come out and Bang! then they would go down, and then Bodhi would have to crawl and jump over somebody, just to be caught again.Then Chirrut would pop up. It was almost, kind of an extended slapstick comedy sequence.When he was running into the ship, he was shot and badly injured… He has to crawl his way back onto the ship, and it was quite extended."
Image Credit: Lucasfilm
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That sounds like it escalated quickly. Moving from slapstick comedy to a completely dark place so quickly might have felt a bit out of place, so we are glad that sequence was cut from the film.
Ahmed didn’t stop there, however, as he also revealed more on the backstory of Rook.
"Bodhi grew up on Jedha. It’s been a troubled planet for a long time. It’s occupied by Imperial forces, and I was thinking, ‘What makes you want to be a cargo pilot and just fly long distances for the Empire?’ I always imagined he was supporting maybe a single mother."
Rook supporting a single mother? That would make a bit of sense, even if it required his character to work for the Empire, an organization he clearly had no love for. So what say you,
So what say you, Rogue One fans? Were the changes all for the better? Either way, we can all count ourselves lucky that Riz Ahmed stuck around through all his character’s changes.