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Donnie Yen Agreed To Star In Rogue One Under One Condition

"I am one with the Force and the Force is with me." This famous phrase is repeated over and over again in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" by Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen). As someone with a deep connection to the Force, but not a full-blown Jedi, Chirrut tries to understand the mysteries of the greater universe — though he lacks any kind of formal training. This is because during the time "Rogue One" takes place, the Jedi are all but extinct, and the ones that are alive are hunted relentlessly. This means that receiving any kind of instruction in the Force is hard to come by, which is probably why Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) finds Yoda hiding out in a swamp in "The Empire Strikes Back."

Chirrut joins Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) in their quest to steal the Death Star plans after he helps the two escape from stormtroopers and their fates become entwined. Chirrut fancies himself a practitioner of the Force, much to the chagrin of his traveling companion Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen), and enjoys speaking in riddles and lofty ideals. This doesn't mean the character is strictly business all of the time, as he likes the occasional quip. However, it seems as if Yen had some input in the creation of Chirrut, helping the character stand out more.

Yen thought Chirrut was to much of a cliche and wanted humor

During an interview with GQ, the acclaimed Donnie Yen spoke about some of his most famous and iconic roles, and of course, one of the first subjects brought up was Chirrut Imwe in "Rogue One." Yen started the conversation by saying that he originally felt like his character in the movie was a little bit cliched and expressed some doubt about portraying the part. Yen added that the first iteration of Chirrut was far more serious, and he stated that it is fine if a movie has a stoic Asian martial arts master, but wondered how they could make the character more unique, which started a conversation with the "Rogue One" creative team.

Yen continued and said that he asked if Chirrut could have a sense of humor, and stated, "You know, and [the filmmakers] liked the idea. And so, we're kind of adding lines and making this character a little bit more funny. Then I just kind of suggested, wouldn't be even better if he can't see, where he can feel the Force instead of not really attached to it, but then somehow, he has a grasp of that universe?" This means that Yen actually had a fair amount of input in crafting his character in "Rogue One," which is probably why Chirrut's repeated mantra and personality are among the most enduring aspects of the film.