If The Last Jedi was a dark middle chapter for Star Wars’ new trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker will likely be a brighter culmination of the struggle between the Resistance and the First Order. After all, the good guys have to win and save the day, right? But it’s not just on screen that Rise felt like a happier time in the galaxy, far, far away—according to Daisy Ridley, that celebratory vibe was felt working behind the scenes, too.
Daisy Ridley did. At The Rise of Skywalker press conference in Los Angeles this week, the actress who brought Rey to life explained that working on the upcoming final film in the trilogy of trilogies felt a bit like a party compared to working on The Last Jedi.
“There really wasn’t a day where I was like, ‘Oh, it’s just a quick scene.’ Coming from the last one, which was quite heavy, even the joyous scenes I found very strange to do,” she said.
What does that mean?
“It’s just so strange because I’ve gone from a film with a lot of like ‘Please be my friend Luke’ and he’s like, ‘Go away...’ And then very much the stuff with Adam [Driver],” Ridley said, “So coming back was so great. But it would be so easy to just flow into it that you’re like ‘Am I acting? Is this what is required?’ Because I’m basically bouncing off of Oscar [Isaac] and John [Boyega] and Joonas [Suotamo] and Anthony [Daniels], in such a joyous way that you just feel like you’re having a chat with your pals. So it’s not, like, difficult...but it’s strange wondering how that general vibe is going to translate into a scene.”
It’s an interesting thought. On the one hand, you read that and begin imagining Ridley, Isaac, Boyega, Suotamo, and Daniels just shooting the shit for hours on end on a Star Wars set. Who doesn’t want to watch that? On the other hand, it’s kind of surprising to hear Ridley felt The Last Jedi was as heavy as she’s suggesting. I never got that impression from her performance. Rey is usually fairly optimistic over the course of the film. Confused? Yes. Frustrated? Absolutely. But I never got the impression she was downtrodden.
Ridley continued to talk about her time on the set of The Rise of Skywalker, explaining that besides the fun scenes with her co-stars, she did find nailing her emotional scenes slightly difficult.
“It’s also tricky because I’d understand what J.J. [Abrams] was asking me. I’d be like ‘I know what you’re asking. I just can’t quite get there yet,’” she said. “So that would probably be the most tricky thing in sustaining that emotion. There’s more of a, I would say, singular intention that is tiring because, even in the emotional scenes, there’s a physical containment.”
From her quotes, it sure sounds like Ridley left everyone on the screen for The Rise of Skywalker. We can’t wait to see it.