Riz Ahmed Missed Star Wars Celebration After Being Stopped By Homeland Security

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This year’s Star Wars Celebration in Chicago was attended by an array of familiar figures from across the history of the franchise, but one notable absentee was Riz Ahmed of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story fame.

More recently, the Bodhi Rook actor spoke at CAA’s Amplify leadership summit in Ojai, California. The summit focused on issues of diversity and multiculturalism across a range of fields, including the entertainment industry. After taking to the stage on Tuesday, Ahmed discussed his experience of being consistently stopped, searched and interviewed at airports.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor said that he was prevented from attending the Celebration in April when Homeland Security stopped him from boarding the plane. Ahmed also pointed to Islamophobia as the easiest way to win elections today, and called for better representation of Muslims.

“How I do what I do is because like all of you here, I’m a code-switcher,” Ahmed said. “We all know how to change the way we talk, the way we dress, the way we walk as we enter one room or another. We all know how to navigate terrain that isn’t of our own making. That’s how I can do it, but that’s not why I do what I do. The why is because I don’t want to have to code-switch anymore.”

Ahmed’s last big screen outing was Ruben Fleischer’s Venom, in which he played the villainous Carlton Drake. The actor also co-wrote the upcoming drama Mughal Mowgli, in which he also stars. Previously, Ahmed has expressed an interest in bringing Muslim superhero Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, to the MCU, and while no plans for Kamala have been officially confirmed, actress Mindy Kaling recently mentioned that she was in talks with Marvel Studios about the project.

As for Star WarsRogue One remains Ahmed’s sole outing in the franchise, but seeing how a Cassian Andor prequel series is headed for Disney Plus, surely there’s still a chance that we haven’t seen the last of Bodhi Rook.

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