Riz Ahmed explains how Star Wars can unite us all

The Night Of and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story star Riz Ahmed talks about the famous film franchise, fitting in and the stages of ethnic portrayals in pop culture.
Riz Ahmed stopped by the q studio in Toronto, Ont. to discuss his latest role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. (Melody Lau/CBC)

While very few people, including critics, have seen the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story yet, some are already drawing parallels, themes and theories from the scenes they have gotten a peak at in trailers. 

Some have called this chapter highly political, if not the most political in the franchise, but star Riz Ahmed thinks people may be projecting a little. 

"Whatever is going on in the world around us, we're going to project it onto the film," he explains. "So maybe in a time of great political turbulence, it's natural that people are going to interpret it that way."

But that's not necessarily a bad thing. 

"Culture is a space for us to work out some of our preoccupations in a way that favours empathy," Ahmed continues. "So I think, certainly, something that's exciting about this film is that so many different people, so many different backgrounds are invested in it in a time when things can get very divided and divisive right now but man everyone loves a Star Wars movie!

"And there's something kind of beautiful about that. So few things seem to bring us all together these days and I feel privileged to feel a part of that." 

WEB EXTRA | Read Riz Ahmed's essay for The Guardian, "Typecast as a terrorist" (mentioned in the interview) here

For the full list of Golden Globes nominees, go here.


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