Of all the newcomers to debut in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, loveable scavenger Rey made the biggest impression. She's strong, resourceful and has a terrific sense of humor - what's not to love? It's no surprise then that the character is set to continue her journey in Star Wars: Episode VIII, and actress Daisy Ridley has been chatting about how she's making the transition to that next installment.
"They are two very different things," she says. "Episode VII was like the beginning of the whole thing, and it was terrifying and incredibly rewarding, and I felt like I pushed myself beyond boundaries I thought I had. And now [on Episode VIII], I feel more together and I feel more present."
Judging by the positive public response to Rey, it sounds as if Ridley is taking ownership of the character for the sequel. "Now [on Episode VIII], I look at things and think, 'How are people going to react to that' because of the way that people have responded to Rey. [Princess Leia actress] Carrie Fisher calls herself the custodian of Leia. And now I feel like the custodian of Rey. I understand what people loved in Episode VII and so I feel like I'm carrying that responsibility with me, which is nice because I feel like I'm more part of it."
Since The Force Awakens opened, shattered box office records and won over critics and fans it's understandable that the actress would feel responsibility for the character. Ridley's role in the franchise has now become a thing of great intrigue. Is she related to the most famous Jedi in all the galaxy? Or is her parentage unconnected from the Skywalkers? Whatever her backstory turns out to be, she's just excited to be in the thick of it. For however long that might be.
"It's all this incredible journey," she adds. "And if I am in Episode IX, it's all one amazing journey that involves thousands of people--not that it's leading to the end of Episode IX, but the whole thing is this wonderful, joyous experience. And I think of 7, 8, and 9 as parts of one experience. They're not like three different ones."
Directed by Rian Johnson and starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Laura Dern, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, and Benicio del Toro, Star Wars: Episode VIII opens on December 15, 2017.