Star Wars fans had a weekend packed with thrill-inducing announcements, first looks and panels at the annual Star Wars Celebration event, but high on the list of iconic moments came during new footage from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, when Felicity Jones’ character, resistance fighter Jyn Erso, looked past the camera and declared, “May the Force be with us.”
“I have to say it was one of those moments that I was really nervous about for weeks before,” Jones admitted to ET’s Ashley Crossan at the event, which was held in London, England, this year. “I kept walking around my house just trying out the line.”
“I'd just be in the bathroom and be like, ‘May the force be with you. May the force be with you. May the force be with you,’” she added. “You just go over and over and over again because I knew it was such a momentous moment for the film.”
Speculation has run rampant about how Jones’ character fits into the Star Wars canon. The events of Rogue One take place in-between the first two Star Wars trilogies -- that is to say, after the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and before Episode IV: A New Hope. It’s a time when the Jedi were believed to be extinct, so the rebels, including Jyn Erso, are battling the Empire on their own.
“This is a rebellion, isn’t it?” she quips in the first trailer. “I rebel.”
In Rogue One, Erso and her fellow rebels are enlisted to steal the plans to the Empire’s ultimate superweapon: the Death Star. The young resistance fighter is shown to be a scrappy, independent spirit and something of a rogue entity (forgive the pun), which has many fans drawing familial parallels to The Force Awakens’ Rey, played by Daisy Ridley. But Jones cautions against jumping to conclusions.
“I like to use Daisy's theory, which is, just because they both have brown hair doesn't mean they're related,” she told ET.
The Oscar nominee is thrilled, however, to be adding her name to the franchise’s list of strong female characters.
“It's just a fantastic time,” she said. “Rather than it being a trend or being something unusual, I would hope that we're in a world now that we have an equal amount of male leads and equal amount of female leads. That's absolutely how it should be.”
Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy also spoke with ET at the Star Wars Celebration event, dishing on whether or not Rogue One will include the franchise’s iconic opening crawl. See what she had to say in the video below.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters Dec. 16.