In the role of Rey Skywalker, Daisy Ridley had to shoulder the formidable task of following in the footsteps of Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker as the new face of the Star Wars films. In the soon to be released Star Wars: The Age Of Resistance - The Official Collector's Edition Book, which contains exclusive interviews with the cast and crew to chronicle the making of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, alongside behind-the-scenes photography and production art, Ridley reflects on her journey as Rey, and how it mirrored her own path in life.
"Family is what Star Wars is all about. The family thing translated everywhere. Even on set, it felt like a family. It's that feeling of bonding, everywhere. Rey is trying to find her place in this world in the same way I was trying to find my place in the world. The similarities were really nice. Because I felt so welcomed, and taken in, and people seemed to care how I felt, that translated into Rey. She suddenly had these people who cared about her, and she was finding her place within that."
As Rey, Daisy Ridley played the role of a scavenger living on the arid planet Jakku. A chance meeting with a droid carrying valuable information kickstarts Rey's journey that sees her transversing the stars, and fighting alongside the rebel alliance of legend. While Rey was often accused of being a "Mary Sue" type character because of how quickly she learned any skill she needed to win, Rob Inch, the franchise's stunt coordinator, offers an explanation in another part of the upcoming book as to Rey's preternatural fighting skills.
"Because her background was scavenging and resourcing, reclaiming bits and pieces. she would be naturally physical but would not look like a martial artist. So we made her fighting more scrappy and physical. Then, as we got through the movie and developed her more with the lightsaber, it was something within her rather than something that she was trained for."
Playing Rey was not always a happy task for Ridley. The actress had to tolerate a level of public scrutiny that few celebrities have to undergo. The stress of the scrutiny and criticism Ridley was subjected to even drove her off social media for the sake of her mental health. Still, the actress has spoken fondly of her time spent making the movies, even admitting in a previous interview that the last day of shooting The Rise of Skywalker left her emotionally drained.
"I felt like I was going to pop a vein because I was crying so much... Obviously not to say that it was like grieving, but it was grieving something. I'll always have it, and we're all bonded by this incredible thing."
Star Wars: The Age Of Resistance - The Official Collector's Edition Book will be released by Titan Comics on March 9 and is available to pre-order now on Amazon and Forbidden Planet. Digital Spy released this news first.