Daisy Ridley Is Ready To Return As Rey In Star Wars: ‘I Feel More Like I’m Owning It’ – Exclusive

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

by Ben Travis |
Published on

One year ago, at Star Wars Celebration, the news was confirmed: Daisy Ridley will officially be coming back to the galaxy far, far away, reprising the role of Rey in a film set 15-odd years after Episode IX – The Rise Of Skywalker, in which her hero will be establishing a New Jedi Order. In the intervening 12 months, the project has remained in its early stages, but Ridley herself has been awaiting her return to Star Wars – all while working on acclaimed smaller films like Sometimes I Think About Dying, and Young Woman And The Sea. Among it all, she’s feeling positive about what her Star Wars future holds.

As she tells Empire in a major new career-spanning interview – available in the upcoming The Acolyte issue – this time she’s “coming in a bit more eyes wide open” to the whole experience. “I suppose I feel more like I’m owning it. I suppose I owned it the first time. Basically, I’m an adult now,” she explains. “I certainly did not feel like an adult at the time. Obviously, personally, things have changed, and professionally, I’ve had lots of other experiences, and so I definitely feel like it’s a different thing this time.” Even after three films – and a considerable amount of online discourse – Ridley still holds real affection for the world of Star Wars. “There’s just a lot of joy with me and these films,” she says. “Honestly, if I wasn’t excited, I wouldn’t have done it. It feels like a great thing to be a part of.”

For now, she knows the story beats for what the new film will be, and – at the time of the interview – was preparing to read a script and feeling “curious about it all”. Whatever’s in store, it ultimately provided a strong basis for Ridley’s – and Rey’s – return. “It wasn’t a difficult decision,” she says. “I didn’t say yes right away, Kathy [Kennedy] was like, ‘Take as long as you need.’” Not that it took that long to say yes. “Why wouldn’t I [do it]? Yes, they have been divisive, but also they bring a lot of love and joy to a lot of people. It feels pretty amazing to be able to continue a character – like, can I even remember how to play her? It’s an interesting challenge as an actor to come back to something and try to figure out what’s changed for me and what’s changed for her.” All in day’s work for a Jedi.

Empire – The Acolyte – June 2024 issue newsstand cover

Read Empire’s full interview with Daisy Ridley – talking her deep-dive into Young Woman And The Sea, her experiences as producer, the power of saying ‘no’, her time on the Star Wars sequel trilogy, and her upcoming return as Rey – in The Acolyte issue, on sale Thursday 11 April. Order a copy online here. Young Woman And The Sea comes to UK cinemas from 31 May.

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