After Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 and announced a new trilogy of Star Wars episodes, it was later revealed that the resurgence of live-action movies in the beloved sci-fi universe would also include standalone anthology films. Since Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens debuted last year - to record-breaking success at the box office as well as with praise from critics and fans alike - Disney and Lucasfilm are following up the feature with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which will take place chronologically between Episodes III and IV.
For the most part, Rogue One will feature new characters, like Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) - though familiar names and faces will appear. Original trilogy villain Darth Vader is reportedly making an appearance, Mon Mothma was featured in the first Rogue One trailer, Forest Whitaker's character is Saw Gerrera from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and fans spotted Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) in the movie's sizzle reel released at Star Wars Celebration. Now, it seems the Bail Organa cameo has been confirmed.
While appearing on The Talk, Smits was asked if he could confirm whether the shot from the sizzle reel that fans drew attention to was in fact the actor in character as Bail Organa. Smits joked about the eagle-eyed Star Wars fans and offered a vague answer, "Can you say the word 'cameo'? [Laughs] Can you say the word 'small part'?"
The character of Bail Organa, as played by Smits, first appeared in the Star Wars prequel trilogy during Episode II: Attack of the Clones, then in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. He played a significant role in the prequels as the senator for Alderaan, a friend of the Jedi Council, and one of the founding members of the Rebel Alliance. At the end of Episode III, he adopted Leia when Padme died in childbirth, and the character of Bail Organa was presumably killed in Episode IV during the Death Star's destruction of Alderaan.
Considering his ties to the Rebel Alliance, it would make sense for Smits to reprise the role of Bail Organa in Rogue One which will follow members of the rebellion - Jyn and Cassian - as they attempt to steal the Empire's plans for the Death Star. Certainly, a cameo (or small part, as Smits said) would go a long way with establishing Rogue One as a film that helps to bridge the time jump between Episodes III and IV, while offering fans another look at the character.
That said, Smits didn't come right out and answer the question of a Bail Organa cameo; instead, he joked about having a small role in Rogue One. While the shot from the sizzle reel and Smits' reaction (including his lack of a direct answer) do seem to indicate Bail Organa will be appearing in the Star Wars anthology film, it has yet to be confirmed by Disney/Lucasfilm. Still, considering the appearances of other Star Wars characters, it would certainly be in line to feature Bail Organa alongside other previously established characters.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: The Talk