March 5, 2024

Daisy Ridley and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy at Star Wars Celebration 2023.
Photo: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Disney (Getty Images)

It’s already been established that a pocket of toxic Star Wars fandom is rooting for Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s movie exploring the New Jedi Order to fail. But the star of the first Star Wars feature to be directed by a woman—Rey Skywalker herself, Daisy Ridley—is here to remind fans to keep culture wars out of Star Wars.

In an interview with Variety, Ridley was asked how “the franchise’s first female filmmaker [will] impact the series,” a question she’s likely going to get tired of answering before the movie’s still far-flung release date. In fact, she sounds a bit weary of it now: “The short answer is I don’t know. I’m excited to do the job, but not because Sharmeen is a woman,” Ridley explained. “Her documentaries are amazing. Her idea for the story is cool as shit. No spoilers, but she gave me a rundown of the entire story. If it weren’t amazing, I would have been like, ‘OK, call me in five years.’ But it’s worthwhile.”

The trade followed up the “female filmmaker” question with one about Ridley heading to the galaxy far, far away without her male co-stars Adam Driver, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac—assuming (presumably?) that none will pop up in Obaid-Chinoy’s film. “I don’t know what is what or who is who [in the new movie],” Ridley said, before turning the question around to address her own growth as a person and as an actor. “So much has happened for me [since the Skywalker saga]. I feel like a grown-up now. When I first started, I was, like, 20. I was the youngest on set. It took me the first two Star Wars films to feel worthy of being there. Now I’m in my 30s. The whole thing feels quite different. I’ve been able to work with other filmmakers, and hopefully, I’ve got better as a performer.”

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