Daisy Ridley — who was announced as the leading lady in the Star Wars sequel trilogy in 2014, one year before Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) released — was a relative unknown actress prior to being cast as Rey in the JJ Abrams film.
Rey spent much of the Skywalker Saga sequel trilogy searching for details about her parentage — even trying to return to Jakku to wait for them to come back for her at one point early on — before discovering her father was a failed Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious clone.
The British actress had primarily appeared in short films and a few television series before filming Star Wars. Since, she has been in Murder on the Orient Express (2017), Ophelia (2018), and the upcoming Chaos Walking (2021) alongside Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man star Tom Holland, Nick Jonas, and Mads Mikkelsen.
While promoting Chaos Walking recently, Ridley shared this about being a woman in the film industry, even in the 21st century:
As per Us Weekly:
“I’ve been told that I’m intimidating,” she told Tatler. “That was on Chaos Walking. I was having my hair done, having my wig put on. I remember thinking, ‘God, should I be smaller? Should I be quieter?’ … I’ve been called aggressive, too; my energy is ‘quite aggressive.’ That was during a meeting with a director.”
Then, questions inevitably turned to Ridley’s time acting in the latest Star Wars trilogy — and the first trilogy since The Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm for over $4 billion in 2012. Ridley shared that she initially struggled with the fame that came with being cast in such an iconic series as the Star Wars franchise:
“What I do know is that when I signed on to Star Wars, there was nothing in my contract that said, ‘Your life will be talked about,’” she told the publication. “It got to the point where I realized so much of my life was out there. People knew my mum’s name, my dad’s name, what my sisters do for a living. And I thought it would be nice to have something that’s for me, that isn’t for everybody else [referring to her relationship with long-term boyfriend, Tom Bateman]. I just thought I would keep that separate.”
While some might find it surprising that Ridley didn’t realize the level of fame she — along with co-stars Oscar Isaac (Resistance pilot Poe Dameron), John Boyega (former stormtrooper Finn), and Adam Driver (Han Solo and Princess Leia’s son Ben Solo/Kylo Ren) — would achieve, she did go on to acknowledge that she eventually found peace with her decision to embark on her personal Star Wars journey.
“I know there were a thousand other actresses who could have done it,” she said of playing her Star Wars character. “I guess ultimately it came to a point where I decided I have to be OK with this. I got this magical piece of luck. The stars aligned. I have to be OK with the amazing chance.”
At this time, Daisy Ridley has no plans to continue acting in Star Wars movies or Disney+ series. Isaac and Boyega have made similar claims. The Star Wars fan community did not react to the sequels with overwhelming positivity, particularly on social media — Twitter backlash, in particular, ran rampant for quite some time following the release of each Star Wars movie in the latest trilogy.
As for the original trilogy actors who made appearances in the Star Wars sequels — the aforementioned The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), and Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) — Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) recently did voice work for a CGI version of young Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian Season 2 finale and Harrison Ford is set to reprise his role as Indiana Jones in the franchise’s fifth film installment.
Ford does not seem to have plans to reprise as Han Solo again, but has not specifically spoken out on this issue recently,
Carrie Fisher — who played Princess General Leia Organa for over 40 years — sadly passed away in 2016.
What are your thoughts on Daisy Ridley’s recent interview? Were you happy with Rey Skywalker’s ending?