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SYFY WIRE Daisy Ridley

Daisy Ridley 'can't actually imagine' playing Rey again now, but doesn't say never

By Matthew Jackson
Rey The Rise of Skywalker

In less than three weeks, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will arrive in theaters, concluding not just the first Star Wars trilogy of the Disney era but the four-decade-long Skywalker Saga that began with the original Star Wars film back in 1977. That means both the filmmakers and Star Wars fans have spent a lot of time talking about endings lately, and we'll keep talking about this particular ending for the forseeable future. That doesn't mean all these characters will go away forever, though.

For Daisy Ridley, who plays the scavenger-turned-rising-Jedi Rey in the sequel trilogy, the Disney era of Star Wars has marked a rise from unknown young actress to global superstar, and that transition hasn't always been easy. In a new profile in British GQ, Ridley chronicled the many ups and downs that have come with her time in the Star Wars spotlight, from the bonding she did with her castmates and the other acting opportunities stemming from the trilogy to the struggles with paparazzi and the stress-induced health issues that have plagued her at various points. She also spoke extensively about what it was like to conclude the saga, without actually offering any real spoilers.

For Ridley, her final day on the Rise of Skywalker set brought intense emotions, ones that echoed the scene she was shooting.

“The scene was me being very sad. Let’s just say it was not hard to be upset in that scene.” she said, and noted that the emotions continued well after the cameras stopped rolling. “I did this embarrassing speech that I can’t remember. It was so sad."

For Ridley, wrapping The Rise of Skywalker meant an end to years of work on one of the most high-profile cinematic sagas of the decade, and after the press tour for the film is over she'll get a chance to both take stock of her time with Star Wars and look ahead to other major acting opportunities. But does the end of the Skywalker Saga mean the end of Rey? Ridley is both aware that she's in no emotional state to even consider the character's future right now and aware that she can't entirely rule it out.

“It felt like an end ... I can’t actually imagine it right now ... I don’t know what’ll happen in however many years," she said.

We won't know until we see The Rise of Skywalker where the film leaves Rey, and what adventures (if any) might be afforded to her further down the line. Star Wars has retained a robust sense of Expanded Universe storytelling in the Disney era thanks to comic books, novels, animation, video games, and more, so of course it's possible for Rey to stick around even without Ridley playing her. It's also entirely possible that one day, a decade or two from now, she might pick up her lightsaber one more time to guide a new generation forward. 

But musing about emotional endings and goodbyes wasn't the only thing Ridley did as part of her British GQ adventure. She also looked back at one of the most pivotal moments of her personal Star Wars story in a rather lighthearted way. Check out the video above to see Ridley's reactions to and commentary on the throne room fight scene from The Last Jedi, which she was watching again for the first time since the film premiered in 2017. Kylo Ren might not have a lot of patience, but Adam Driver certainly did.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters December 20.