“Rogue One” actor Riz Ahmed said the filmmakers didn’t inject anti-Donald Trump positions or any other political messages into the new “Star Wars” movie, because doing so would be “petty and small-minded.”
Ahmed was responding to the hashtag #DumpStarWars, a campaign by some conservatives to boycott “Rogue One” because they believe the upcoming film criticizes Trump. Ahmed was unaware of the campaign until TheWrap asked him about it Friday. (Watch the interview above.)
“What? That’s weird. I have no idea what they’re talking about,” said Ahmed, who plays pilot Bodhi Rook in the standalone film, which opens next Friday.
Ahmed noted that “political turmoil” exists all over the world, and that the “Rogue One” team set out to make a film with a universal message, not to respond to recent events in a single country.
“It is absolutely to be expected that people will project their anxieties and concerns … onto art. It’s also the role of art to reflect the times we live in. But this film wasn’t made to speak to this particular moment. This is a film that was written years ago, that was filmed over a year-and-a-half ago,” the British actor and “The Night Of” star said.
“Our hope is that this film isn’t just resonant now, but in 10 years from now,” Ahmed added. “I don’t think the creators of this film are to be as petty and small-minded as to use something as big and all-embracing as ‘Star Wars’ to score kind of mean political points. I actually think that in this time that is so divided, a film like ‘Star Wars’ brings everyone together.”
He predicted that “people that voted for all kinds of parties, of all kinds of sexual orientations, views and religions will go and see this film … We should celebrate and embrace that.”
Trump supporter Jack Posobiac claimed on Twitter that the filmmakers rewrote and reshot the film to add anti-Trump scenes, which Disney has flatly denied.
Posobiac’s #DumpStarWars was a reaction to “Rogue One” writers Chris Weitz and Gary Whitta’s actions after Trump’s elections. They switched their Twitter avatars to images of the logo of the Rebel Alliance with a safety pin — an anti-racist symbol — and Weitz tweeted that “the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization.”