Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the final curtain call for the nine-part Skywalker saga. Fans are expecting this new film to tie up any loose ends from throughout the story’s 42-year history. And in the wake of the divisive The Last Jedi, director J.J. Abrams’ film also needs to bring the sequel trilogy to a satisfying close.
It would seem The Rise of Skywalker then faces insurmountable expectations, even for Star Wars. We already know — courtesy of star Naomi Ackie — the film will leave fans with some questions. Now Rey herself, actress Daisy Ridley, has accepted The Rise of Skywalker might still leave some fans cold.
Joining the ‘Star Wars’ saga
Ridley’s life changed dramatically when she joined Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Prior to her casting as Rey, the actress’s experience mostly consisted of a few episodes of British television and short films. But at least Ridley didn’t join the “galaxy far, far away” blindly.
In a recent chat with GQ, the actress recounted how Abrams cautioned her about how the role would change her life. His words of advice? “Understand the scale,” Ridley said. “This is not a role in a movie. This is a religion for people. It changes things on a level that is inconceivable.”
As evidenced by the vitriol hurled online toward some cast members — especially Ridley and The Last Jedi co-star Kelly Marie Tran — some fans do take the saga too seriously. Ridley has previously called for fans to practice kindness. But she’s also aware The Rise of Skywalker may cause fan outrage to flare up yet again.
Daisy Ridley on rude critics
Lucasfilm has a tall order in delivering a conclusion to the Star Wars saga with The Rise of Skywalker. With all fans have invested in this story, it’s impossible for Abrams and his cast and crew to ensure the series’ millions of fans are pleased with the result. Ridley, for her part, appears resigned to this inevitability.
“There are people that are never going to f**kin’ like it and there’s no other way around it,” the actress told GQ. “But I think people are going to feel like this was made with a lot of love and JJ worked really hard to tie up nine films. It’s impossible to make everyone happy.”
That being said, Ridley also knows the rabid Star Wars fan base has a lot of work to do on its communication skills. After all, she’s heard a lot from “fans” about how disappointed they were with her work.
“Some of the shit people have said to me about Star Wars you wouldn’t believe,” she said to GQ. “I have had people say to me, ‘I mean, it wasn’t a great film, was it?’ I’m like, that’s just bad manners. That’s f**kin’ not nice.”
Rey beyond ‘The Rise of Skywalker’
Considering the amount of strife Ridley has had to endure, it would be understandable if she decided not to return to the saga following The Rise of Skywalker. After all, the film supposedly ends Rey’s story. And at this time, Lucasfilm hasn’t announced concrete plans for future films.
Ridley’s co-star John Boyega recently said he would return if she and Oscar Isaac signed on for another film. But Ridley seems ready to put Rey to bed for a long while.
“I just don’t know if anything could top this one, honestly,” she told Variety recently. “I think it’s just a great story and a great close. And even though obviously the characters continue to exist, it would have to be so extraordinary [to return], and I don’t know if that’s possible.”
Following The Rise of Skywalker, it’s safe to say the toxic relationship between the saga and its fans could use time away from each other. We’ll find out soon enough if fans think Abrams sticks the landing with his new film. If there’s one thing we can count on Star Wars fans to do, it’s sharing their opinions online.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.
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