Jyn Erso is an iconic Star Wars character, thanks to the passion that Felicity Jones injected into the character. Here are six facts about her involvement in Star Wars.
Felicity Jones had a number of notable roles in her early career, from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to The Theory of Everything, but none was bigger than co-starring in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as Jyn Erso. Rogue One is considered one of the best Star Wars movies ever made for a number of reasons, including Jones’ captivating performance.
The fiery determination and passion that Jones brought to the role has made Jyn an iconic Star Wars character. Here are six facts you might not have known about Jones’s involvement in Rogue One.
1. Felicity Jones grew up a Star Wars fan
Being a Star Wars fan isn’t a requirement to play a character within the galaxy — just ask Bill Burr — but it’s always special when someone who appreciates the franchise suddenly gets to become part of it. As Jones explained on Good Morning America, she can remember watching Star Wars at a young age:
"I’d watch at my cousin’s house with my older brother, and for some reason we’d be really close to the TV watching it. We would watch it on VHS. I just remember the opening titles going up the screen."
Jones’ experience with Star Wars echoes similar sentiments that other current actors have said. Donald Glover explained that his father introduced him to the universe and that sparked a lifelong fandom, which eventually led to his role as a young Lando Calrissian in Solo.
2. She beat out other high-profile names for the role
Jones wasn’t the only well-known actress in contention for the Star Wars spinoff. Notably, Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) also tested for the role of Jyn.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is the one who initially eyed Jones for the film, but it was Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn who “cast the deciding vote” on featuring Jones in Rogue One.
3. Three famous women helped inspire her performance as Jyn
Felicity Jones used the qualities of three different women to help serve as inspiration for her portrayal of Jyn Erso. She watched music videos from the band Florence and the Machine to study the strong movements of lead singer Florence Welch. Jones then turned to MMA fighter Ronda Rousey to incorporate her energy and physicality into Jyn. And even Beyoncé played a part in shaping Jyn, according to Jones:
"I think she’s someone who has incredible power and is devoted to what she does, but she also seems like a very nice person. I think that’s very important to emulate."
4. She got to unveil her own action figure at Star Wars Celebration
Ahead of Rogue One‘s release, the cast appeared at Star Wars Celebration 2016 in London to generate hype for the new film. The panel was moderated by Gwendoline Christie, who had first appeared as Captain Phasma a year earlier in The Force Awakens. Christie described the “incredibly surreal experience” of having her likeness turned into a Star Wars action figure.
She then handed Felicity Jones the never-before-seen Jyn Erso Black Series figure, allowing Jones to unveil it to the world for the first time. It’s heartwarming to watch Jones’s face light up as she lifts the figure up and shows it to the crowd, which breaks out into a raucous applause:
5. Jones was the highest-paid actor for Rogue One
The pay gap between men and women across professions is a well-known issue, especially in Hollywood. However, for Rogue One, Jones got paid more than any of her co-stars, which is exactly what she deserved as the heart of the film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jones was “by far” the highest-paid castmember with a “seven-figure” salary that was paid upfront. Other big-name co-stars like Diego Luna and Ben Mendelsohn were below “mid-six figures.”
Money isn’t everything, but it’s encouraging to know that Jones was rewarded fairly for her standout performance.
6. There is a sequel option in Jones’ contract and she’d “really like” to play Jyn again
One interesting detail aside from pay in Jones’s Rogue One contract is that she has “one sequel option,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The publication then speculates that Jyn’s character could appear in “a young Luke Skywalker stand-alone in the future,” although there’s no indication that a project like is currently planned or in the works.
Given how Rogue One ended, there wouldn’t be an easy way to resurrect Jyn for a sequel story, but perhaps she could pop up in a spinoff movie set prior to her sacrifice on Scarif. Disney is exploring similar territory with the Cassian Andor-focused Disney+ series set before the events of Rogue One.
Jones has an interest in reprising her role as Jyn, she told Variety:
"I loved playing that character so I actually, in an opposite way, I would really like to have more consistency and come back and bring Jyn back. I would actually like that for a couple of years."
Star Wars fans would likely welcome any project that features more Jyn Erso, but it remains to be seen if Disney will explore that character more.
You can watch Felicity Jones star as Jyn Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on Disney+.