A new Rolling Stone feature about ‘The Last Jedi’ reveals some shattering news for Rey fans.
According to an interview with Rolling Stone, Daisy Ridley isn’t keen on playing Rey beyond the final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has already felt like a different beast throughout its promotional campaign so far. While it is certainly possible to assume that the film will sport parallels to Empire Strikes Back — in keeping with how The Force Awakens channeled A New Hope — the freshness of the footage revealed for Rian Johnson‘s upcoming addition to the franchise so far looks more promising. All this despite keeping within Skywalker drama. But as a sequel series in general, Episodes VII-IX have always had the challenge of looking at what the future holds.
The Last Jedi will reportedly be one of the last films directly involved with the Skywalker saga if Episode IX director J. J. Abrams has anything to say about that: “‘I do see it that way,’ he says. ‘But the future is in flux.'” This poses big questions about how Lucasfilm plans to move forward, even with the confirmation of Johnson’s new trilogy set in the Star Wars universe.
But something remains crystal clear from the Rolling Stone profile, at least according to Ridley. She has no desire to continue playing Rey after her contract is up upon completion of Episode IX, which is honestly a shame, but completely understandable. Per Ridley:
“No,” she says flatly. “For me, I didn’t really know what I was signing on to. I hadn’t read the script, but from what I could tell, it was really nice people involved, so I was just like, ‘Awesome.’ Now I think I am even luckier than I knew then, to be part of something that feels so like coming home now.”
But, um, doesn’t that sort of sound like a yes? “No,” she says again, smiling a little. “No, no, no. I am really, really excited to do the third thing and round it out, because ultimately, what I was signing on to was three films. So in my head, it’s three films. I think it will feel like the right time to round it out.”
Star Wars has always been about big set pieces, with episodes culminating in consequential, fundamental battles between the forces of good and evil. It makes sense for Ridley to bow out after her run is over, to make way for a new series of stories waiting to unfold. I, for one, have always wondered what potential Star Wars had beyond the Skywalkers’ immediate vicinity. This was one of the reasons the characters of Rogue One worked so well for me, even if the story circled back to A New Hope. The idea of meeting fresh characters who could have completely different backstories was thoroughly exciting. There was a time that Luke, Leia, and Han were thrust into the limelight, brand new characters facing an audience with zero context to fall back on. It might be a great time to explore a reset button of sorts for Star Wars should the core cast of the current trilogy — Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, and Oscar Isaac as Poe — not return.
But Rolling Stone also poses the question of Ridley’s return 30 years later, much like Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford did, to which she replied, “Who knows? I honestly feel like the world may end in the next 30 years, so, if in 30 years we are not living underground in a series of interconnected cells … then sure. Maybe.” But again, it’s like, who knows. Because the thing I thought was so amazing, was people really wanted it. And it was done by people who really love it.”
In this regard, we can easily hope that Rey’s ending need not be tragic or even final. Ridley has given so much to the franchise already with her impeccably effective performance as Rey. Trailers and clips from The Last Jedi all hint towards a further honing of her talents in the role. Hence, the feeling of reading that Rey will be moving on after Episode IX is honestly bittersweet. Nevertheless, the potential of Star Wars, and indeed Ridley’s career as an actress without the franchise, is primed to flourish anyway.