When anyone enters a serious relationship and it comes to an end, that separation is always tough and feels like a loss and heartbreak. And, when it is the first major relationship, saying goodbye may feel impossible. Not only does this feeling prove true in relationships with other people, but for many actors, losing a character they molded and created is just as tough.
Daisy Ridley was newer to the Hollywood scene when she entered the Star Wars franchise. Although Ridley had filmed a few episodes of TV shows and had a handful of short films under her belt, it was not until Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) that the British actor really had eyes on her. Now that the sequel trilogy has come to an end, it seems that Ridley’s stint in the Star Wars franchise has as well.
Ridley played Rey in three Star Wars films — The Force Awakens (2015), The Last Jedi (2017), and The Rise of Skywalker (2019). Over the course of five years, playing the lead in a Lucasfilm trilogy had the actor feeling quite connected to the character. In an interview with Who What Wear, Ridley admitted that when the trilogy was over she was left feeling empty:
Following the premieres, press junkets, and chat-show circuit, she recalls staying in a hotel and being unable to sleep. “I was like, ‘What am I supposed to do now?’” She spent much of January 2020 feeling a little bit lonely, a little bit weepy, and a little bit unlike herself. “I guess it was sort of like grieving. These relationships and this amount of time had come to an end. It really felt like I was letting go of something emotionally,” she says. She hadn’t been home properly in years and had to recalibrate to the “massive quiet” of not necessarily having a crazy schedule or being surrounded by dozens and dozens of others.
Ridley has brought up the fact that she has grieved about no longer playing Rey on multiple occasions, which heavily insinuates that the actor is done with the franchise. Some Star Wars fans have theorized about Rey meeting Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and appearing in Season Three of The Mandalorian.
All other issues aside, timeline wise, this would be challenging, the sequels are set about 25 years after The Mandalorian. However, Pascal has indicated the third season of the streaming series will jump timelines in some way.
It should also be noted that, currently, Rey’s speeder can be found at Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney District in front of the new Star Wars Trading Post store, serving almost as a relic to the character. This is purely speculation at this point, but considering she is separated from it, it likely points as another piece of evidence that she will not be returning to Jakku.
After playing such an iconic character, going into the pandemic — which heavily affected the film and television industry — likely emphasized the loss. As Ridley mentioned, she was used to “premieres, press junkets, and chat-show circuit” for five years straight. Letting go of a lifestyle, schedule, and character that consumed the actor would not have been an easy task.
To add to it all, Ridley had to also disconnect from social media due to the harassment she faced from Star Wars fans. Many fans did not like JJ Abrams’s conclusion to the Skywalker Saga and chose to take out their frustration on Ridley, which was hard on her. That being said, the question of whether Ridley would even want to return can also be considered. Ridley was happy with how Rey’s story wrapped up, so it seems that both Star Wars and Ridley are ready to move on from each other at this point. That being said, Disney may surprise us in the future!
Now, Ridley is slated to star in Women in the Castle, Chaos Walking, Kolma, and A Woman of No Importance. All of which Ridley will surely shine in, but none which carries a franchise name like Star Wars. Star Wars fans who may be craving more Rey in the franchise will be happy to know that Ridley is indeed voicing Rey in the Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga video game.
Do you want to see Daisy Ridley return as Rey in the Star Wars franchise? In what way do you think it would make most sense for her to return.