Given the ridicule and abuse that the cast of the newest Star Wars movie trilogy has endured, I was shocked when Daisy Ridley took the stage at Star Wars Celebration to reveal that she was returning to a galaxy far, far away. Her career took off after breaking out in The Force Awakens, with starring roles in theatrical blockbusters, streaming originals, and even a few video games. So why take another chance with this struggling franchise?
In a recent interview with Collider about her new movie The Marsh King’s Daughter, Ridley said that the upcoming Rey movie is not what she was expecting.
“It was such a nice reception,” Ridley said of her appearance at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2023 in April. “I was shitting myself before I went on stage, because no one knew I was going to that. No one knew I was going to Celebration, bar like Kathy [Kennedy] and there were a couple of people. I was so nervous. Oh my God. It was such a wonderful reception.”
“I’m very excited,” she added about the Rey movie, which is being directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. “The story is really cool. I’m waiting to read a script because, obviously, I don’t have any other updates. It’s not what I expected, but I’m very excited.”
That last line has been making headlines in recent days, and for good reason.
So far, all that we know about the new movie (other than the identity of its director) is that it will be set 15 years after The Rise of Skywalker and follow Rey as she attempts to rebuild the Jedi Order. We aren’t even sure if this will be Episode X or if it will be separate from the Skywalker Saga. Either way, Daisy Ridley’s claim that it will surprise fans is notable.
One of the reasons I was higher on The Last Jedi than other Star Wars fans was because it did surprise me. It nearly flipped the canon on its head when Kylo Ren told Rey to “let the past die” in order to become who she was meant to be. Sadly, The Rise of Skywalker undid all that work and reverted to nostalgia bait and MacGuffin hunts.
Unlike some of her co-stars, Ridley has had mostly positive things to say about her experience working on Star Wars. She also knows just how much pressure, scrutiny, fury, and undeserved animosity can come from being a part of this franchise. And despite all of that, when Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy asked her to come back, she did. The story Lucasfilm wants to tell must be pretty special if she’s willing to step back into this gauntlet.
In the meantime, Lucasfilm is getting back to work on several Star Wars series following the strikes, such as Andor season 2, The Acolyte, and Skeleton Crew.