‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Left Daisy Ridley ‘Entirely Exhausted’ for the Very Best Reason

It might not have been the high point of the Skywalker saga. But for better or worse, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is officially in the series’ rearview. With the story of Anakin Skywalker and his legacy complete, fans are ready for the saga to move on to other stories and characters.

Likewise, it seems like the cast of the sequel trilogy is similarly ready for other projects. Oscar Isaac and John Boyega have repeatedly gone on record about how hesitant they would be to return to Star Wars. And Daisy Ridley too seems content to leave Rey behind.

Considering her work on The Rise of Skywalker, it stands to reason Ridley wouldn’t be itching to step back into the “galaxy far, far away” anytime soon. After all, she has opened up about the extreme toll her third — and final? — Star Wars film took on her.

Daisy Ridley at the 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' European premiere
Daisy Ridley at the ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ European premiere | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Daisy Ridley’s complex relationship with ‘Star Wars’

When Ridley was cast in Star Wars: Episode VII, fans didn’t know what to expect. Prior to Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, no more Star Wars movies were on the way. The saga had seemingly died. And now suddenly, this unknown actress was leading an entirely new trilogy as a mysterious scavenger destined for more.

The Force Awakens is still recognized as a success by most fans and critics. Yet, the fandom has become increasingly divided over the years. Particularly with The Last Jedi and now The Rise of Skywalker, the Disney era of Star Wars has brought out the worst kind of critics. Ridley, for her part, has developed a complex relationship with the saga’s fans.

She’s always seemed appreciative of the opportunity to play Rey. Yet, over the course of the sequel trilogy, Ridley has become a bit more jaded about the fame aspect of working within Star Wars. Before she signed on, director J.J. Abrams warned the up-and-coming actress of the scrutiny involved. And now that she’s had five years of it, Ridley deserves a break.

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‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ left her drained

But Star Wars didn’t just dramatically change her personal life. Ridley found the experience of making The Rise of Skywalker a particularly challenging one. Even more than her previous two appearances, the film affected her in ways she probably didn’t expect.

“Honestly, with this one, I just got to do so much stuff,” she told CinemaBlend. “I got to do all the emotions, from A to Z. Yeah, I just got to do so much that I felt entirely exhausted fully emotionally and physically, which I think is a good thing.”

While many fans and critics found the film itself disappointing, Ridley committed fully to The Rise of Skywalker. From the emotional dramatic moments to her intense battle scenes, the actress gave her all to the role. And regardless of whether the script itself holds together, few have pinpointed Ridley’s performance as a major issue with the end of the Skywalker saga.

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Have fans really seen the last of Rey Skywalker?

Of course, there’s another key reason it makes sense for Ridley to commit so thoroughly to The Rise of Skywalker. In all likelihood, the film marks the last time fans will see Rey. Even though she takes on the Skywalker name by the end of it, the divisive response to the movie will likely lead Lucasfilm to focus its creative energies elsewhere.

Then again, fans once would have said Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford would never return too. And they all reprised their roles in the sequel trilogy. Perhaps in time Ridley will play Rey again. But between the Disney+ shows and Taika Waititi’s upcoming movie, Star Wars fans have plenty to look forward to in the meantime.