Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker
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Credit: Lucasfilm

J.J. Abrams spilled entire Rise of Skywalker plot to Daisy Ridley, loudly, in public

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Jun 27, 2019

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the much-anticipated final installment in the Skywalker Saga, is now less than six months away, but the film remains shrouded in mystery. We've seen a trailer that raises a number of interesting questions, and we've seen some promotional photos and set reports that spill a few intriguing details, but exactly how the last film in the sequel trilogy will resolve this saga remains a closely guarded secret. 

We've come to expect that from Star Wars, particularly when writer/director J.J. Abrams is involved. Abrams is known for his mystery box method of cinematic storytelling that often involves keeping even seemingly inconsequential details from the audience until the last possible moment, and he's definitely still keeping a lot of Rise of Skywalker info under wraps. According to star Daisy Ridley, though, that wasn't the case when he first pitched her the film. 

Ridley was on The Tonight Show Wednesday to promote her new film Ophelia, but host Jimmy Fallon wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to ask her about Star Wars, and wondered aloud if she'd even managed to get a full script for the film. Ridley responded by revealing that she first heard the film's story when Abrams simply called her and asked if she'd like to meet up to discuss it. They met, and Abrams was perhaps not as secretive as Ridley has come to expect. 

“This was a few months before we started," she said. "And we were in a public, you know, cafe. And he fully told me the story, start to finish, and he was speaking at a normal volume. And I was like ‘People can hear us!'"

Ridley did not disclose which cafe they were sitting in at the time, or even what city they met in or how many other people might have been around. It ultimately doesn't matter, though, because Abrams then ended up changing the story. 

"But regardless, the story changed," Ridley said. "So he told me the thing and then a few months later, it changed.”

This is fascinating, because it means that it's possible that right now, someone somewhere believes they know exactly what's going to happen in The Rise of Skywalker because they happened to be having a latte a couple of tables away from J.J. Abrams and Daisy Ridley that day. Given Abrams' love of secrecy, it also raises the possibility that he was deliberately saying certain things at a "normal" volume to throw people off his scent, perhaps knowing he would make changes later. Stranger things have happened. 

Whatever the final story for The Rise of Skywalker turns out to be, Ridley did say that she found the resolution of the trilogy to be "epic," and described her emotional final day on set. 

“I wept. I was an embarrassment. I can’t remember a thing," she said, adding she had to give a wrap speech after John Boyega gave his, and she knew big emotions were about to hit her. “J.J. gave the mic to me and that’s basically all I can remember.”

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

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