Donnie Yen arrives at the European Premiere of Star Wars Rogue One in the Tate Modern in London, great Britain 13 December 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall – RTX2UW0U
International action star Donnie Yen almost missed his chance to make history when he almost refused the role of Chirrut Îmwe in the latest “Star Wars” franchise film, “Rogue: A Star Wars Story.”
Yen, 53, told the Los Angeles Times that he was flattered by the offer, but he would not get away from his family for months to see the film in London.
Yen, who was once called “the strongest in the universe,” for his larger than life ego, according to the South China Morning Post, wasn’t quite sure about the rotate of the role, so he asked those closest to him.
“I turned to my children and I said: ‘love you baba’ s “Ip Man” series?’ — because I’m known to Western audiences for ‘Ip Man.’ “Or do you want baba in” Star Wars?”‘ They went, “Star Wars,” of course!”
“I said: ‘Wait a minute, there is something very special.’ Then, my friends and family, and fanboys, everyone was excited and I realized, this is not only the making of a film. You are making the history here. So that’s how I got involved, and I am so glad that I did.”
Yen’s character Chirrut Îmwe, a Jedi Master, plays an important role in the assistance to the Rebels. Although blind, Îmwe is strong with the Force and quickly enough with a wooden staff to destroy Stormtroppers.
Review: ‘Rogue: A Star Wars Story’ is an excellent action movie
“Rogue” stars Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelsen and Riz Ahmed. The film’s storyline takes place between the prequel and original trilogies, and portrays Jyn Erso’s efforts to steal the plans for the Death Star, the ultimate weapon of the Galactic Empire, which has terrorized the galaxy far, far away since the first “Star Wars” in 1977.
The role that seems to be the breakout character in the new film, Yen told the South China Morning Post, “of course I am a sense of achievement,” he said. “For a Hong Kong actor, and a Chinese actor, to be able to play such an important role, which is consistent with the spirit of the series – with the Power – it is a very precious opportunity.”
So far, the film earned $155 million in their own country its opening weekend and a gross profit of $290.5 million worldwide.