Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Concept Art

With Avengers: Endgame out of the way, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is probably the next most anticipated movie of 2019. The film will bring the Skywalker saga in the Star Wars universe to an end, but after a certain menacing laugh was heard at the end of the first teaser trailer, fans are filled with infinitely more questions about how this will all come to a head.

Thanks to the return of director J.J. Abrams, everyone is keeping Star Wars secrets even more fiercely than usual, but franchise star Daisy Ridley recently opened up ever so slightly about an epic lightsaber fight that we’ll see between her character Rey and the First Order’s leader Kylo Ren.

Daisy Ridley recently appeared on Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast (via Collider), and while she couldn’t reveal any major details about the movie that hadn’t already come to light, she did discuss the next confrontation between Rey and Kylo Ren. Here’s what Ridley had to say:

“I just think they’ve done a great job with all the relationships. With the fun friendships, and with the sort of strange thing with Rey and Kylo… also we have a great fight. A great fight. And I was really happy that the Vanity Fair pictures did show a bit of it. It’s a great fight. Like I’ve become such a better fighter and they made the lightsabers lighter, so it actually looks like we’re swinging light and not like heavy [swords].”

If you’ve ever seen any of the behind the scenes footage of lightsaber battles being shot, you know how important it is for the actors to be able to swing the prop lightsabers with ease. They’re fighting hard, and you don’t want to be swinging these giant lightsaber props over and over again, making an exhausting fight sequence even more tiring. Plus, it probably makes the fight sequences that much more safe if someone flubs the choreography or misses their mark.

The next lightsaber fight has some heavy-lifting to do if it’s going to top the last time Rey and Kylo Ren were in battle together. That’s because the lightsaber fight in Snoke’s throne room from The Last Jedi was one of the saga’s best. Ridley wouldn’t say whether or not it will top that battle, but she did talk discuss them in the same breath, which is promising:

“[The Throne Room fight] felt pretty cool, and also that was really hard because everything had to match up. There’s like a dolly shot coming through and it ends with me and I think I was fighting James at the time, who’s the stuntman with the two swords. It was so tiring. We did like 25 takes because if one thing was off we had to keep going. But I was really proud of that fight. This fight, it was November, we had water being thrown at us—I’m not gonna complain about the cold, I’m just not gonna do it (laughs)—so it was like a real thing of stamina. It felt really epic, and it felt epic even at the time. One can only imagine what it’s gonna look like.”

It can be hard for a movie like Star Wars to feel truly epic while shooting since so much of what you see on screen is brought to life with visual effects. So for Ridley to say that it felt epic while filming has us very excited about what we’ll see during that confrontation.

Why Colin Trevorrow Left Star Wars

Don’t forget that what we’ll see unfolding on the big screen this winter wasn’t the original idea for the saga’s finale. Director Colin Trevorrow was originally attached to direct the film, but the Jurassic World filmmaker ended up stepping down after creative differences with Kathleen Kennedy. And it should come as no surprise that this finale will be quite the departure from what Trevorrow intended to do (though part of his development ended up in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge).

Ridley doesn’t know everything about what Trevorrow’s take on the final chapter of the Skywalker saga would have been like, but she did say it was “very different” from what J.J. Abrams ended up doing. Ridley explained:

“He was Josh [Gad’s] guest at [the] Murder on the Orient Express [premiere] and we went for dinner afterwards, and Colin sat next to me and I was like, ‘What’s this gonna be like?’ Because all I had heard—I didn’t know what had happened, I just knew that he wasn’t doing it anymore. And he did sort of tell me and sort of not… Actually no we had gone for dinner and stuff, we went for dinner with Michelle [Rejwan], who is a producer. So I sort of knew. I think everything happens for a reason, I guess.”

Instead, we’ll be getting a story that was cracked by J.J. Abrams and writer Chris Terrio. There’s a lot riding on this movie, so hopefully they have something that will be satisfying for fans. We’ll find out when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives on December 20, 2019.

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