Riz Ahmed and Felicity Jones crossed paths before either of them were famous

By Jodi Guglielmi
Updated December 05, 2016 11:00 AM
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Riz Ahmed and Felicity Jones go way back.

Ahmed and Jones, star together in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and while it’s their first time appearing together on screen, the two actually crossed paths lightyears ago.

“I had a lot of scenes with Felicity and we actually went to university together as well,” he says in the exclusive video above as PEOPLE counts down to Rogue One, which arrives in theaters Dec. 16.

The two British actors both attended Oxford University. While in school, Ahmed — who also performs as rapper MC Riz — helped organize concerts on campus.

“I used to run club nights at University, like drum and bass and hip-hop nights,” he says. “She used to be a regular at those nights.”

Though they didn’t know each other at the time, Ahmed, 34, said she’s the cast member he’d choose to grab a drink with after filming to “carry on that tradition.”

In Rogue One, Ahmed plays Bodhi Rook, a cargo pilot who enlisted to serve the Empire but leaves to join the Rebellion.

“He’s someone who’s not used to being in warlike circumstances, yet he finds himself in the middle of this really intense situation,” says Ahmed in PEOPLE’s Stars Wars: The Secrets of Rogue One special issue of his character. “I think it’s really natural for him to seem a bit stressed out by that. It’s cool that Bodhi is just a guy trying to get by.”

Check out PEOPLE’s Stars Wars: The Secrets of Rogue One, on newsstands now and featuring a virtual-reality bonus including goggles (here’s how to assemble them!). To watch the full experience and explore more exclusive virtual reality content, download the LIFE VR app for iOS and Android or visit time.com/lifevr.

If you don’t have goggles, check out the 360° video above, explorable by clicking and dragging your mouse across the screen. You’ll visit the Rogue One set and go behind the scenes of a battle between rebels and stormtroopers—a stunning interactive experience available exclusively from PEOPLE. Then get goggles and experience it in virtual reality!