Star Wars

‘Did you hear it wrong?’ Donnie Yen on that HUGE spoiler about Rogue One character

Hong Kong action star acts either coy or clever when asked about speculation over the fate of his character in Star Wars spin-off movie, and tells fans: ‘Until you see something with your own eyes, it’s not the truth’

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 November, 2016, 5:41pm
UPDATED : Monday, 14 November, 2016, 10:38pm

Warning: article contains major spoiler for likely Rogue One: A Star Wars Story viewers

As if it wasn’t enough of a big deal that Donnie Yen Ji-dan plays a leading role in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off film Rogue One, the Hong Kong action star has also become one of its largest talking points since he was involved in perhaps the most jarring crack in Disney and Lucasfilm’s draconian attempt to keep its story secret.

At the Star Wars Celebration Europe panel held in London in mid-July, everyone looked extremely uncomfortable when the Chinese actor Jiang Wen let slip on stage that – massive spoiler alert! – Yen’s character is going to die by the film’s end.

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In Rogue One, Wen plays a mercenary named Baze Malbus, who is close friends with the blind spiritual warrior Chirrut Îmwe, played by Yen. The new film, which revolves around a plot to steal the plans to the Death Star, will also see the return of Darth Vader – and is expected to be a major force in the box office after last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens took in more than US$2 billion globally.

Wen said at the panel in his broken English: “So he and me was a partner and he of course believe in Force, but my character don’t believe in Force at that time. But I pretend all of them – not them, just them – to do very, very big mission, I cannot say that. And, when this guy dead, I do something better. Maybe I believe by my action, he’s thinker, I’m doer.”

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At this point, Wen was interrupted by panel host Gwendoline “Captain Phasma” Christie, who said: “I think you’ve got to leave it there.”

Naturally, neither Disney nor Jiang have said a word on the topic since. Still, when had a chance to catch up with Yen last Saturday, we put the probable plot twist concerning his character to him. Here’s what the actor said. Many people think that Jiang Wen revealed the fate of your character at the Star Wars panel…

Yen: [Interrupts] Did you hear it wrong? [The whole room falls silent for a second.] Did you hear it wrong? At least that’s how all the fans are interpreting his words.

Yen: Well, not all. Some people also said something else afterwards, it seems… [Trails off] Am I right? I also have to watch [the panel footage] again before I can confirm this. [Collects himself and declares dramatically] Until you see something with your own eyes, it’s not the truth. Once you’ve bought your tickets and watched it yourself, you’ll know it for sure.

Is Yen playing with us – or even Wen’s English – to deflect us from the fact that it’s all true? Or is it just a red herring? It certainly doesn’t sound like Yen has denied anything here … May the guessing continue for another month.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in Hong Kong on December 15. Look out for’s extensive interview with Donnie Yen in early December.

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