Donnie Yen’s Character in Rogue One is Really Important!

star-wars-rogue-one-castDonnie Yen has more than 60 movies under his belt, but he is really careful when choosing roles in US productions. The Hong Kong star turned down a role in Expendables 2, but it wasn’t hard to convince him to appear in Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars story – Rogue One. In recent interviews, the Chinese actor briefly opened up about his character from the highly anticipated Star Wars movie due for release in December 2016…


Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter Yen explained that his children are fans of Star Wars, and briefly touched on his Rogue One role:

I am very proud to be the first Chinese actor cast in Rogue One. It was a good and benevolent character.

I felt like I was in a theme park everyday when shooting Rogue One in Pinewood Studios in Britain. I have learned and experienced a lot.

Donnie CU

The information on any of the Rogue One characters is really scarce. However from the officially revealed cast photo we know that Donnie Yen’s character is blind. Actually it was really surprising that they revealed that important detail about him with this official photo.


Stormtrooper HelmetsBack in August 2015, Yen posted an image on Instagram revealing some new helmet designs. He was quickly asked to remove the photo and now the actor seems extremely cautious while discussing his character in another interview, this time with USA Today:

Yen is already ensconced in the Star Wars cone of secrecy. All he’ll spill is that his character “is definitely an important guy,” he had fun doing it and “I will get some action.”

So Yen’s character in the movie will be good, benevolent,  who is important and who will get some action. And he is probably blind. It’s not much but this is probably the character we know the most about from the whole ensemble.


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Val Trichkov (Viral Hide)

Founder of SWNN, MNN and The Cantina forums.Born on April 24, 1980.

77 thoughts on “Donnie Yen’s Character in Rogue One is Really Important!

  • January 18, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Nice! Donnie’s casting in Rogue One was something that I found exciting from day 1. Best of luck to him and the rest of the cast in this project.

    • January 18, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      Yes, I can’t believe three of my favourites things are colliding – Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, and STAR WARS.

      • January 18, 2016 at 10:49 pm

        Yes! I like where your head is at!

  • January 18, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    So he’s blind. I guess this most likely confirms the old rumour that he is a jedi.

    • January 18, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      Not a Jedi but its looking like he has the force for sure

      • January 18, 2016 at 11:30 pm

        Yes, most likely. I’ve read some rumours about a half year ago that he will play a jedi (who is also a friend of Han). Nobody knew about the Church back then so it would makes sense.

    • January 18, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      Maybe a member of the Church of the Force.

      • January 18, 2016 at 11:21 pm

        Ok. First news he is blind (we can consider it as a spoiler?)!! And now it’s probably a member of the Church too? 😛 Jesus, what i have missed?? 😉

        • January 19, 2016 at 12:38 am

          I don’t think it’s a spoiler if it’s literally in the first picture of the movie.

          • January 19, 2016 at 1:18 am

            I can’t deny it. I really didn’t noticed that from the picture 😛
            Supouse i was blinded by something, the excitment maybe

      • January 18, 2016 at 11:30 pm

        Yes, most likely. I’ve read some rumours about a half year ago that he will play a jedi (who is also a friend of Han). Nobody knew about the Church back then so it would makes sense. Or a non-jedi force user, that would be even more interessting.

  • January 18, 2016 at 8:42 pm

    Rogue One plot leaks are pretty scarce compared to TFA. They’re running a tighter ship, I suppose.

  • January 18, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    I was trying to work a Zatoichi reference in here but then I remembered that was Japanese.

  • January 18, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    I’m ready for the Rogue One news and rumors train. It’s arrival may be behind schedule, I fear.

  • January 18, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Donnie is a legend. I certainly don’t want him to be offed in the same manner that Max Von Sydow was in TFA. I hope Donnie’s character lasts most of the film if not all.

    • January 18, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      Sounds like hes already done filming and I believe Rogue One has another month and a half of shooting so I hope that doesn’t mean hes killed off quickly but I wouldn’t mind a cool death.

  • January 18, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    I’m so stoked for his character. A benevolent blind man kicking ass…I mean, those kinds of characters are always so intriguing! Daredevil anyone?

    • January 18, 2016 at 11:02 pm


      • January 19, 2016 at 12:11 am

        Force-sensitive Zatoichi / fugitive Jedi?

        • January 19, 2016 at 12:19 am

          Perhaps not killed during Order 66 purge….merely blinded….?

          • January 19, 2016 at 12:22 am

            This is Star Wars universe. They can fix blind people.
            I find this blind thing stupid.

          • January 19, 2016 at 12:35 am

            Perhaps he can’t afford the procedure? Perhaps he’s trying to stay under the radar by staying off hospital records? Maybe he prefers being blind……?

          • January 19, 2016 at 12:59 am

            Maybe the blindness gives him special powers, like Daredevil. Maybe it’s considered a blessing within the Church of the Force.

          • January 19, 2016 at 2:55 pm

            ^ this…

          • January 19, 2016 at 12:37 am

            And we find you stupid, but do you see us bitching and moaning?

          • January 19, 2016 at 2:12 am

            Only one stupid here are you.

          • January 19, 2016 at 5:05 am

            You do realize that the horrendous grammar displayed in your statement above makes it rather ironic, right?

          • January 19, 2016 at 5:19 am

            Actualy it only makes you a troll.

          • January 19, 2016 at 6:30 am

            Yes, your grammar makes ME a troll. Thank you for that amazing logic, man.

          • January 19, 2016 at 12:50 am

            Can they fix lung tissue damage? Or third degree burns? (Sound familiar?)

            Where is this insider knowledge of the GFFA?

          • January 19, 2016 at 2:11 am

            General Grievous and other cyborgs, Clone army ect..

            They can. They can clone new eyes, or make artificial ones.
            This is Star Wars universe we talking about.

            Blind people are not logical in SW universe. Only if he is from planet like Jakku, were there is no technology to do that.

          • January 19, 2016 at 3:18 am

            Or maybe he’s from the Rebels….were there might not be any technology to do that prior to Luke Skywalker’s trench run.

            We have never seen a cloned limb….”logically” they’d be able to do that.

            “Logically”, they would have technology to recycle scrap metal, and not use hydraulic trash compacting technology and dump their garbage in space.

            “Logically” that would be a waste of material that even our own 20th century technology would be able to recycle.

            “Logically”, C3PO would know who Princess Leia is when he sees her in Artoo’s hologram, because “logically”, this is the Star Wars universe (a.k.a. ‘galaxy’) that we’re talking about.

          • January 19, 2016 at 1:09 am

            Rahm Kota was blinded in the Force Unleashed and it made his character more interesting.

          • January 19, 2016 at 3:27 am

            Canon example required.

          • January 19, 2016 at 5:23 am

            General Grievous and other cyborgs, Clone army, droids have artificial eyes.

            If they can make artificial eyes for droids, they can for humans too.
            If they can clone, they are able to clone organs too.

          • January 19, 2016 at 2:53 pm

            Grievous did not have artificial eyes nor cloned eyes.

            If they can clone, then why don’t they clone limbs?

          • January 19, 2016 at 5:00 pm

            They can make artificial limbs.

            Droids have artificial eyes. So they have technology to create artificial eyes for humans.

            Even in real world, right now, we are able to clone some organs and make artificial eyes for humans.

          • January 19, 2016 at 7:57 pm


          • January 19, 2016 at 8:51 pm

            There actually is a canon example, Count Denetrius Vidian from the novel A New Dawn had cybernetic eye implants.

  • January 18, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    Here you have the 300 chinese milions you were looking for.

    • January 19, 2016 at 12:36 am


  • January 18, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    Long as he gets more screen time than all the Asians cast in TFA.

  • January 19, 2016 at 12:17 am

    Would be cool if Donny Yen is force sensitive, but not a Jedi. Instead a mercenary who exploits his gift purely for profit.

  • January 19, 2016 at 12:21 am

    This is Star Wars universe.
    How can he be blind?! They have tehnology to fix him.

    • January 19, 2016 at 12:36 am

      Maybe he comes from a poor planet. Or maybe he’s Force Blind. Just wait and see.

    • January 19, 2016 at 12:37 am

      Can they? Where in the new canon has a blind person gotten a technological fix to their blindness?

      • January 19, 2016 at 2:07 am

        General Grievous is the best example what they can do in Star Wars Universe.

        Also Clone army is second.

        Blind person in Star Wars universe is illogical.

        • January 19, 2016 at 6:32 am

          Not really. If his character can’t afford the treatment then there’s your explanation.

        • January 19, 2016 at 11:32 pm

          I didn’t know Grievous and the clones were cured of blindness. I’ll have to re-watch the prequels to see how I missed that. 😛

          But in all seriousness, your logic is flawed. You’re arguing a basic “If A, then B. A, therefore, B.” In your case, you’re saying: “If they have the technology to create General Grievous and the clones, then blindness is curable. They have the technology to create General Grievous and the clones. Therefore, blindness is curable.” In such a critical thinking situation, if A is true, then B must absolutely be true. But as you can see in your case, B does not necessarily have to follow A.

          A sound argument is this: “If General Grievous and the clones were cured of blindness, then blindness is curable. General Grievous and the clones were cured of blindness. Therefore, blindness is curable.” See how that is a rock-solid? Unfortunately, that is not the case with your argument.

          Just because a civilization is technologically advanced in certain areas of medicine, does not mean they are equally advanced in others. For instance, we have the ability to clone a sheep – eyes and all. But we still don’t have the ability to cure blindness – even in a sheep. The process of surgically repairing or replacing the ocular nerve or the eye itself is still beyond us. In other words, we can clone organisms with eyes, but actually curing blindness (whether it be repairing the eye itself or replacing the eye altogether) is still beyond us. In fact, we cannot even create an eye by itself – we can clone a sheep complete with functioning eyes, but we cannot clone eyes in isolation, much less successfully install them into a living organism. The only functioning organ we’ve successfully cloned so far is one much simpler, in fact, one of the simplest – the bladder. In conclusion, in the Star Wars universe, just because they can clone new organisms with functioning eyes does automatically mean they can cure blindness in an organism that is already blind.

          And even if your argument was logically sound, and blindness is curable in this point in the Star Wars Universe, the fact that we haven’t seen or heard of a single being with cured blindness in the canon is somewhat telling of the fact that it must be a rare operation at best. Like others have already mentioned, it may be prohibitively expensive. He may not have the means. Or perhaps the technology is only available in Imperial space, and him being part of the Rebellion, it is inaccessible for him at the moment. Perhaps getting access to Imperial facilities and such equipment is a personal quest for him that we may see explored in the film. Food for thought! 🙂

      • January 19, 2016 at 9:47 pm

        In the novel Tarkin one of the Imperial officers had an artifical implant for an eye he lost

        • January 20, 2016 at 8:24 pm

          There we go, good example. Although, it is still very possible that Donnie Yen’s character cannot afford the procedure, or that the technology is only available in Imperial space. Another example is Clegg Lars from Episode 2; cybernetic replacement limbs were definitely possible at that time, but he did not replace his leg, instead opting for a hoverchair. Similarly, it is likely that he could not afford a cybernetic leg, or the technology was not available on a backwater Outer Rim planet like Tatooine. I’d wager that an artificial implant to replace an eye is at least as complex and/or expensive, if not moreso, than a replacement limb.

    • January 19, 2016 at 12:40 am

      noun: bigotry; plural noun: bigotries
      intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself.”the difficulties of combating prejudice and bigotry”
      synonyms:prejudice, bias, partiality, partisanship, sectarianism, discrimination, unfairness, injustice; More
      intolerance, narrow-mindedness, fanaticism, dogmatism;
      racism, racialism, sexism, heterosexism, homophobia, chauvinism, anti-Semitism, jingoism;
      Jim Crowism
      late 17th century: from bigot, reinforced by French bigoterie .
      Translate bigotry to

      • January 19, 2016 at 2:08 am

        What that has to do with anything?!

        • January 19, 2016 at 5:05 am

          He was defining you.

          • January 19, 2016 at 5:17 am

            Again you, troll.

          • January 19, 2016 at 6:29 am

            I was just telling the truth. He gave the definition below your comment because he meant for it to be the definition of you. I didn’t know it was trolling to point out the obvious.

          • January 19, 2016 at 4:57 pm

            Troll, troll and troll. Go in your cave.

          • January 19, 2016 at 10:51 pm

            Okay, whatever. If the definition of troll is “Someone who simply disagrees with you and calls you on your shit.”, then you’re right, I’m a troll. Get over it and stop whining, because I’m done telling you to. And liking your own hate comment is pathetic.

    • January 19, 2016 at 2:35 am

      They could give him that visor they got in Star Trek Next generation… and yes, he would look like a jackass.

      • January 19, 2016 at 2:49 am

        They can clone him a new eyes or make artificial ones.

        • January 19, 2016 at 5:04 am

          And you know this how?

          • January 19, 2016 at 5:16 am

            Did you watch Star Wars?!

            I mean, do not make me laugh.

          • January 19, 2016 at 6:28 am

            Fair enough. Anyway, you don’t know the in-universe explanation for his blindness yet, so you probably shouldn’t be complaining. If it turns out to be related to a power of his, you might look stupid. More so than you already do, believe it or not.

          • January 19, 2016 at 7:26 pm

            General Grievous was born with those eyes, they were not artificial.

    • January 19, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Things still cost money in the star wars universe. Rey worked her ass off and barely got fed.

    • January 19, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      This is the real world with an option for LASIK surgery and I choose my glasses.

  • January 19, 2016 at 12:51 am

    Its settled then. Yen is Snoke.

    Duh. Clearly. Obviously.

  • January 19, 2016 at 1:19 am

    “proud to be the first chinese actor cast in rogue one.”

    um, either he misspoke or he’s reeeally excited about breaking ground in this specific spin-off. 😉

  • January 19, 2016 at 1:36 am

    Does anyone have ideas on what the new helmets could be? I think the black one could be a shadow trooper, and the one in the right a tropical/jungle trooper.

    • January 19, 2016 at 2:15 am

      Is that a Death Star symbol on the Tan Helmet?

    • January 20, 2016 at 9:31 am

      The black one is definitely a Shadow trooper since they are featured in the new Battlefront game. The tan one though, I’m thinking it’s for either an EOD/explosive ordinance trooper helmet (that armored blast shield) or at least used for when there is an ultra bright laser being fired (again, that blast shield is there for a reason). It would be cumbersome & pointless if it were for a simple ground trooper no matter what location they were fighting in.

  • January 19, 2016 at 2:34 am

    Wait, a Chinese guy has blue eyes and so he’s blind?
    Did it not occur to you that he’s simply Riddick’s Chinese Cousin?
    Or, weirder yet, he just normally has blue eyes?
    Then again, it would be cool if those are like power eyes that see the force or thermal imagery or something? Or maybe they’re x-ray eyes to see the enemy’s cold dark heart.

    • January 19, 2016 at 10:04 am

      Not just blue, he appears to have no pupils. Whether he’s blind or something else remains to be seen.

  • January 19, 2016 at 3:44 am

    Should have been cast as a jedi or sith, to have quality battles

  • January 19, 2016 at 3:58 am

    Guarantee these new movies will have non Jedi force users a la maz kanaka. I bet Donnie yen is like daredevil but with the force to see.

  • January 19, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Oh joy. Another rebel to bring to justice.

  • January 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Donnie Yen blind and force sensitive, guess who was blind and a jedi from from the same timeline but is non canon now. Rahm Kota from Force Unleashed is there a connection there hehe.

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