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SYFY WIRE Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

'Star Wars' alum Daisy Ridley responds to those 'Rise of Skywalker' retcons

"Well, J.J. was the one who was like, she is of no one, so it wasn’t just The Last Jedi where that was the message."

By Josh Weiss
Daisy Ridley GETTY

A little over three years after the release of The Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars fans continue to debate the many questionable choices made by the third and final chapter in the Disney-produced sequel trilogy. 

The return of Emperor Palpatine (explained with a hand-waving "somehow" by Poe Dameron) and retconning of Rey's family background (Just kidding! She's actually the secret granddaughter of the most evil man in the galaxy!) are, of course, the beats singled out as the most egregious examples of how the trio of billion-dollar blockbusters failed to tell a cohesive story from one entry to the next.

With a few years between her and the conclusion of the sci-fi saga, Daisy Ridley (who played the Force-sensitive Rey) opened up about the Episode IX about-faces during an interview with Rolling Stone at the Sundance Film Festival.

"Well, J.J. [Abrams] was the one who was like, she is of no one, so it wasn’t just The Last Jedi where that was the message," she said, pointing out a united through-line between movies. "What was interesting about the last one, for me, was that you can be a hero and not come from anywhere or you can be a hero and come from literally the worst person in the universe. You’re not your parents, you’re not your grandparents, you’re not your bloodline and you’re not the generations before you. So, I always was like, sure. But it’s beyond my pay grade. I say the words, do the thing. I do love the version of, you can be anyone you want to be, but I also love the version where you can rectify wrongs and can’t help what you’re born into."

And while Episodes VII - IX will be steeped in controversy for years to come until the next affront to the fandom makes itself known (and the sequels are suddenly reappraised as fan favorite classics that didn't deserve the hate they got, aka the same exact thing that happened with the prequels), Ridley is beyond grateful to the franchise that launched her career.

"Star Wars is joyful. I know they bring up a lot for other people, but for me it was joy," she continued. "Not always — it was difficult — but overall, I loved my experience. I worked with amazing directors and actors that I respect, so it was an amazing beginning of a career. I feel like I’m not having to start over, but it’s a different path now."

When IMDb asked if she'd ever return to the world of Star Wars, the actress replied: "I'm open to a phone call...I'm looking for employment."

All nine films of the Skywalker Saga are currently available on Disney+.

Looking for more dark sci-fi space adventures? SYFY's acclaimed Battlestar Galactica adaptation is streaming now on Peacock. Looking ahead, SYFY has the new space thriller The Ark coming next month.