'Nothing can top it': 'Star Wars' star Daisy Ridley can't see herself playing Rey again after 'The Rise of Skywalker'

Cast member Daisy Ridley poses for a portrait while promoting the film "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" in Pasadena, Calif., Dec. 3, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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PASADENA, Calif. — Daisy Ridley is preparing to say goodbye to Rey, the scavenger-turned-Jedi in Lucasfilm’s rebooted Star Wars trilogy that began with 2015’s The Force Awakens.

The Rise of Skywalker (in theatres Dec. 19), which comes 42 years after George Lucas’ Star Wars: A New Hope, will wrap up the Skywalker Saga with director J.J. Abrams promising fans, “Episode IX will be a conclusion of a story.”

Of course, Star Wars isn’t ending. Another film series is scheduled to start hitting theatres in 2022 and Disney+, the company’s just-launched streaming service, has recently debuted The Mandalorian, a show set between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Next year, they’ll start filming new series revolving around two beloved characters — Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor (from Rogue One) and Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan.

So when it comes to Star Wars, nothing is really over — or is it? Could Rey, like Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) did in The Force Awakens, return to the galaxy far, far away maybe 10 years from now? Or, is it really finished?

Ridley, clad head-to-toe in black, slinks forward in an armchair and ponders the question.

“I think it would have to be something so extraordinary,” she tells the Sun. “The stuff I’ve been able to do on this film… I just don’t know how that would be topped. I don’t think someone could come to me with a story and say, ‘This is better than what you got to do in The Rise of Skywalker.’ It would be so shocking if they were able to do that.”

But Ridley, 27, isn’t nailing the door firmly shut. Her face breaks into a grin as she starts to recount a scenario her co-star John Boyega (who plays the Stormtrooper-turned-Resistance-hero Finn) floated to her.

“John made a good point to me, though. If a new trilogy came out with a new trio, I would be very jealous. I would be like, ‘You know what Disney, I will take your call. Let’s talk. I want to be a part of this,’” she laughs.

Still, she hedges a little, pausing for a beat, before turning serious again.

“Realistically,” she says gazing up at a poster for the film, which has her front and centre, “I don’t know. I think it will make more sense when the film is out. For me personally, it’s not often that you get to do something that’s physically nuts and just so emotional… And I just got to do so much in this one that I don’t think anything could top it for this character.”

In a separate interview with the Sun, Abrams, who returned to co-write and direct Episode IX after first stepping behind the camera for 2015’s Force Awakens, says the film marks a definitive end to the nine-film series.

“The trick of doing this movie was being aware of, intellectually and emotionally, the weight of this thing… it’s the ending of nine films that’s been 42 years in the making.”

Ridley echoed the finality of the story, revealing that if you have questions, like say, who her parents really are and why does she have that unusual connection to First Order Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), you will get the answers you are looking for.

“I think it’s really wrapped up … the big questions that have been posed by Force Awakens and The Las Jedi, for sure are answered in this one … it’s a really beautiful ending,” she says. “Star Wars has always been about hope and, I’m stealing someone else’s words, but (in this film) all these characters are in such dire straits. Still, you’re comforted because, ‘It’s Star Wars, so it’ll be OK.’ I think in this one people are pushed beyond, ‘It’s going to be OK.’ You’re really thinking, ‘Oh my God, is everything actually going to be OK?’ But there’s such an emotional resolution at the conclusion to this film and to all nine. I really think it’s satisfying.”

mdaniell@postmedia.com

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