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Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker May Feel Like a Different Genre, According to Daisy Ridley

Daisy Ridley dropped some new nuggets on The Rise of Skywalker and Star Wars fandom in a new interview.
Daisy Ridley dropped some new nuggets on The Rise of Skywalker and Star Wars fandom in a new interview.
Photo: Lucasfilm

As the ending to not just the sequel trilogy, but a trilogy of trilogies, we all expect Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to be unique. However, in a new interview, star Daisy Ridley went a step further to describe just how different it would be.

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“Genre-wise, it’s different from the other two, which will become clear when the film comes out,” Ridley said in an interview with USA Today. “It’s quite emotional. There’s a different drive than the previous two films, but there’s a lot of fun. I really missed John [Boyega] during the last one, but we’re back together and now Oscar [Isaac] is part of it. To me, it felt like kids going on an adventure.”

So does that mean the film is more dramatic? More carefree and adventurous? Does Ridley actually mean “genre” in it its usual sense, or is she more talking about “tone”? We have exactly zero answers to those questions at this point.

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Speaking of answers, though, in the same interview Ridley did confirm The Rise of Skywalker would put the rest the question of Rey’s lineage. “[Director J.J. Abrams’ did say the question is answered,” Ridley said. “So at the end of the film, you do know what the dealio is.”

Finally, and most controversially, Ridley said she understood and sympathized with Star Wars fans who were put off by Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, even if she disagreed with them. “I wasn’t surprised, no,” she said when asked about the backlash. “It’s just a different thing.”

“Everyone’s going to have an opinion now anyway on the internet, but I also think it’s fair,” Ridley continued. “If people hold something incredibly dear and think they know how it should be and it’s not like that, it’s fair for people to think they were done wrong. It doesn’t mean they were—ultimately, Rian’s a filmmaker and one person can’t dictate how a film is supposed to be—but freedom of expression, sure.”

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You can read more from Ridley in the full USA Today interview. And we’re sure to see more of her in the coming months as The Rise of Skywalker gets closer to its December 20 release.

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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Speaking of answers, though, in the same interview Ridley did confirm The Rise of Skywalker would put the rest the question of Rey’s lineage. “[Director J.J. Abrams’ did say the question is answered,” Ridley said. “So at the end of the film, you do know what the dealio is.”

See, this is why this new series of Star Wars isn’t my Star Wars: because it copies the old series that I liked, without understanding how it works, or caring. Which means that neither do I.

Vader’s revelation isn’t a game changer because it’s some kind of masterful twist in the plot. In terms of setup and payoff, the revelation that the little odious comic relief muppet is actually a Jedi Master is a far, far better plot twist. Rather, it’s a game changer because it completely undermines Luke’s sense of himself. He goes into that fight with Vader absolutely certain that he’s facing down the man who killed his father, and comes out with the shattering realization that the people he idolized set him up to fight Vader based upon a lie. It’s that impact on character that causes the twist to land with the impact it does.

The answer to the question of who Rey’s parents are may have been set up and teased by the director. But it doesn’t matter, because no matter what, Rey doesn’t have a character. Think about it: what does Rey like to do in her free time? What kind of music does Rey listen to? Does Rey like men or women, or Wookies, or whatever? In a social group, is Rey the instigator, or the person who just follows along? If you turned on the space chess table on the Falcon, would Rey know how to play, and if she does, would she sit down and play a game or two?

All of those questions are the kinds of questions that fill out who Rey is far more than who her parents are. No matter what the answer to the question of who Rey’s parents are, those answers remain the same. The problem is not that we don’t know who Rey’s parents are. The problem is that we don’t have enough information to answer any of those other questions. Based on what we saw from the original trilogy, I could give a pretty confident answer about Luke to all of those questions. And I could note when those answers changed. Rey? I’ve known her for, at most, a very busy two weeks, and I don’t have any clear idea about the answers to any of those questions. Because Rey is not a character. She could be a character. Daisy Ridley is an immense acting talent, and she brings a lot of presence to what she’s given to work with. But Rey is just an avatar that has some lines in between action sequences, because that’s what important in the new series. And that’s uninteresting.