I woke up on December 4th with one thing on my mind: my upcoming visit to Lucasfilm HQ. To be honest, it's all I've thought about since I was invited a few weeks ago. Our upcoming Felicity Jones Rogue One interview, among the other Rogue One interviews, was just too much for me to wrap my head around.
After mingling at Lucasfilm HQ and screening a couple of top secret Star Wars Rebels episodes, it was finally time for our Rogue One actors' interviews. This was different from the other interviews I've participated in. We were in a small theater, with comfortable seats. A table and chairs awaited the Rogue One cast at the front of the room. With our tape recorders ready and our notebooks in hand, we watched Rogue One's Felicity Jones enter the room in a beautiful white dress. She's even more flawless and stunning in person, by the way. With a delicate English accent, she thanked us for our signature Disney Blogger, enthusiastic applause. It was now time to interview Felicity Jones, also known as Rogue One's leading lady, Jyn Erso.
I was prepared with about 5 questions that I'd written the night before while watching the 28 minutes of Rogue One footage (you can read about that experience here). Before I continue, let me just say that you never know how an interview will go. You can walk in with 20 questions and not get a chance to ask a single one. We strictly had 20 minutes with Felicity Jones. As a blogger (and a fan), I only write questions down to keep my mind on track. Even the most experienced journalist will tell you that it's easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget everything you originally wanted to know. It's just as exciting of an experience for a blogger, as it would be for an average fan!
Felicity Jones Rogue One Interview
Felicity Jones describes her character, Jyn, as a woman with a very strong ideology. “She hates the empire. She hates everything they stand for. They have destroyed her family, so every time she sees a Stormtrooper, she's an animal who wants to take them down.” Being that Jyn is a new character in the Star Wars universe, Felicity makes sure we understand that there's a very good character development. “She has a wonderful humanity and learns how to be a leader throughout the film. She starts off as a bit of an outsider and is very suspicious of people. Throughout the film, you get to see her actually forming these kindred spirits with other rebels. “
So what was Felicity's first thought after Rogue One Director, Gareth Edwards told her that she got the role of a lifetime? “I've got to get to the gym!” I'm pretty sure that we'd all think that very same thought. Especially in such a demanding, action-packed role. She did not have any martial arts training, but she did run around the set half-asleep on most days.
If you're wondering about the action that you see on film – it is very much real! “I get very into it and take it very seriously. I like to do as much as possible. It's nice when you can see the actor actually doing the stunt. It feels believable,” Felicity Jones explains after she mentions the “enormous bruises” she got while filming.
I've only seen 28 minutes of Rogue One, but it's very clear from the special footage and the Rogue One trailers, that Jyn Erso is the strongest female character to ever enter into the Star Wars saga. Felicity Jones knew the importance of that. “I really wanted the audience to care about her and empathize with her. She's very resourceful and it was very clear to [Rogue One Director] Gareth and I that we didn't want her to keep being saved. So we [made sure] she could survive on her own.” She explained that Jyn doesn't do everything on her own. She works strong in a team. She just isn't the damsel in distress that we're all used to seeing in films.
Felicity knows that young girls will be looking to her and Jyn as a role model. I would definitely feel comfortable allowing my 11 year old niece to look up to her. If all girls had the same sense of confidence and strength that Jyn has, we'd live in a much better place. Maybe after Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, we can start seeing a change in the way women are portrayed on film.
I think [it's] important that young girls don't feel like they have to conform to some idea of what a girl should be. You can be whomever you want, whatever you are and take confidence in that. There isn't a standard we should all be working towards. It's about celebrating what's different about us and society letting that [be acceptable]. – Felicity Jones
Those words were spoken by a true role model and they still sit with me today. Star Wars has always been very entertaining, but it can be very much empowering! I am loving the direction that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is taking us. Not only will we feel comfortable with children seeing the film (PG-13 Rating), they can actually learn a few things from it and maybe even pick up some of the strong main character traits: drive, strength, and courage.
And I know everyone is wondering, Will Jyn ever go to the dark side? “No way! She's on the good side all the way!” That gave us all a good laugh! Then, she was kind enough to walk with us outside of the room to take a group photo – right next to a stormtrooper statue who caught her attention, “I'm not afraid of you” she joked.
Ps. She totally put her arm around my waist and pulled me closer in this shot. She's not as intimidating as Jyn is. She's very kind, gentle, and an overall, inspiring woman.
See Felicity Jones in Rogue One 12/16
From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
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