Daisy Ridley, the breakout female star of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is hard at work filming the next installment, the currently untitled Episode VIII (when she isn’t goofing around on set with Mark Hamill, that is). Ridley’s heroine, Rey, is still something of an enigma, with everything from her parentage to her place in the Star Wars universe being hotly debated by fans in the months since the film’s release. One thing that we do know is that Rey is strong with the Force, but thanks to some potentially revelatory comments from Ridley at the MTV Movie Awards last weekend, this doesn’t necessarily make her a Jedi.
“I don’t know if I am a Jedi… I don’t think I am. We’ve had this debate as to whether Leia is because she uses her Force powers. Just because she’s not like, ‘Oh I’m going on an adventure’ like Luke doesn’t make her any less Forceful.”
While Ridley’s comments are sure to spark heated discussions, it’s important to point out that Rey not being a Jedi could have several different meanings. For one thing, Rey is most definitely not a Jedi at the end of The Force Awakens as she has had no formal training. Episode VIII looks to be setting up a master-apprentice relationship between Luke Skywalker and Rey, so she could very well become the former’s Padawan, a Jedi in training.
Another possibility is that Rey rejects the Jedi/Sith binary altogether and wants to forge her own path as a wielder of the Force. As hinted at in The Force Awakens, Luke’s attempts to start a new Jedi order ended in disaster, so perhaps Rey will show him a way forward that doesn’t require her to accept a Jedi label.
Whatever the case may be, Ridley’s comments have only made us more excited to see what her journey will look like in Episode VIII. One thing’s for sure: this is a woman who knows how to handle an interview circuit!