In this December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, viewers will get reacquainted with Darth Vader, but the Sith Lord is not the only returning character in a film that mainly consists of fresh faces. For Attack of the Clones, actor Jimmy Smits was cast as Bail Organa, a senator in the Republic and the future adoptive father of Princess Leia. Fans know Organa as one of the leaders of the rebellion, helping form the Alliance in the waning days of the Clone Wars. Given where Rogue One takes place in the franchise timeline, some believed that Bail could be featured in the spinoff.
A behind-the-scenes sizzle reel that premiered at this summer’s Star Wars Celebration in London seemed to include a brief glimpse of Smits in the role, and back in August the actor all but confirmed that he had a cameo in the anthology film. Now, moviegoers can get their first real look at Bail Organa from Rogue One thanks to a new image.
Twitter user @IndianaJedi snapped a photo of the latest Us Weekly issue, which includes a preview of Rogue One. An official picture of Organa is part of the magazine’s coverage, showing Bail in a more subdued wardrobe when compared to the outfits he sported in the prequels. You can take a look at it below:
Viewers can also read a small quote from Smits discussing his part in the film. According to the actor, Bail “isn’t as high up the political food chain” this time around, which makes a great deal of sense. From the beginning, Organa strongly opposed the Galactic Empire and their policies, feeling that it represented the antithesis of everything the Old Republic stood for. He’s very much involved with the Rebels at this point in time, and his choice of clothing is a clear illustration of that. There seems to be a Rebel soldier in the background behind Bail, so this shot is plausibly from an Alliance base as Bail is briefed on information.
Since Organa has not had a large presence in the marketing materials, his part in Rogue One is most likely very small. He will probably be an ancillary character who is involved in key Alliance meetings and not much else. Still, Bail’s inclusion in the standalone serves as nice connective tissue between the various films, and his appearance is quite logical. This is not an instance of shoehorning someone in for the sake of fan service. Rogue One details the rebellion’s most daring mission, so someone as important as Organa would want to weigh in. It would arguably be strange if Bail wasn’t a part of the film, especially since fellow Alliance leader Mon Mothma is.
Of course, Bail’s home planet of Alderaan was originally where the battle station readouts were meant to go (recall Leia’s message to Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope), so one has to wonder if the world will be seen at all in Rogue One. The end of Revenge of the Sith featured a very short sequence there as Bail and his wife admired a baby Leia, but for some the visit was too brief. Many would like to see Alderaan again in a greater capacity, which would make its destruction in Episode IV far more tragic and impactful.