Bail Organa of the planet Alderaan is either throwing some shade at Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) or reluctantly agreeing with her rebellious plans. A new clip from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story shows Jyn Erso interrupting another Rebel Alliance representative with a stirring call-to-arms speech. And it looks like Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) is either totally into against Jyn’s approach, or reluctantly coming around to her way of seeing the galaxy.
In the larger Star Wars canon, Bail Organa is the adoptive father of Princess Leia, and an early opponent of the Empire, since before it even started calling itself “the Empire.” In Revenge of the Sith senator Organa uses his diplomatic privilege to sneak Obi-Wan and Yoda back to Coruscant so Yoda can do some damage on the Emperor.
He’s also referenced in the very first Star Wars movie — A New Hope — when Leia speaks to Obi-Wan Kenobi of her “father.” Of course, Leia’s real father is Anakin Skywalker, but Bail is the father who raised her and got her involved in the whole Rebel Alliance thing to begin with. Before Rogue One, it was actually easy to infer the stealing of the Death Star plans thing was orchestrated by Bail Organa specifically, since Leia is adamant on the plans being delivered to her father “safely on Alderaan.” So what is Bail thinking about in this Rogue One scene?
In the old Star Wars radio dramas, a lot of action with Bail and Leia took place on Alderaan where it was established that Bail put up a huge smokescreen of neutrality to trick visiting Imperial dignitaries. Leia even mentions that Alderaan has “no weapons” which is probably why Bail is keeping quiet here. He’s a pacifist publicly, even if he agrees with Jyn and the Rebellion.
It’s also possible that up until this point in time, Bail has been so broken down by all the terrible stuff that happened at the end of the Clone Wars, that he wasn’t sure how to support the Rebels openly. But now, thanks to Jyn, Bail sees the wisdom (again) in fighting back.
Or maybe he’s just thinking, “Yeah, my daughter and I are already working on this. You got any new ideas, kid?”
Rogue One opens on December 16.