The Scribe Scrutinizes The Scavenger
“People are getting tattoos! Of my face! Already! It seems insane to me” – Daisy Ridley.
“…The movie has a major problem in this central character. [Daisy] Ridley can barely act at all.”
Eh? Come again?
“Her facial expressions are limited and repetitive, her interactions with her fellow stars unconvincing, her physical repertoire – running, fighting, shooting – awkward…”
So writes the obviously disgruntled film critic for the London Evening Standard who – like just about everybody else – awarded it four stars. Everybody knew that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was going to obliterate box office records around the world; some fans fretted over whether it would fail to satisfy their expectations; but hardly anyone – after this weekend – is none the wiser as to who Rey, the staff-wielding scavenger, really is.
Finding out about Daisy Ridley is easy.
This 23-year-old Londoner – whose previous appearances include just bit parts in UK TV dramas such as Mr. Selfridge and Casualty – may have seemed like an ordinary bookworm and “Speed Garage enthusiast” up until last week, but now, of course, she has suddenly become one of the most famous women in the world. Also, she swears like a Stormtrooper, which makes her a natural successor to Carrie Fisher.
By the way, major plot points will be included; but seeing how the latest widespread box office records indicate that everyone in the US, UK and the Outer Rim Territories have seen the movie, there is no longer any need to worry about dropping spoilers.
As my review pointed out, The Force Awakens is an undeniably exciting spectacle, and yet – as the days go by – key plot points and a rising pile of questions just baffle me even more, making me reconsider whether it is an episode to embrace wholeheartedly.
Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do: who is Rey?
“Well, Rey starts alone – and I did not mean ‘Solo’ when I said ‘solitary’,” she laughs.
“I said: ‘Don’t go through the crew like wildfire.’ I also told her not to take any advice from me” – Carrie Fisher.
“You start thinking: give her time, she’ll loosen up, it’ll get better. It never does.”
Grief, this fella’s starting to annoy me…
“And she’s the heroine, the very heart of the film. So that doesn’t work.”
Yes, it does, dullard! Just take a look at all the other reviews: Ridley has instantly won over critics and fans alike. From the first few (captivating) moments we saw Rey, she was intriguing – we wanted to know her story, especially as her surname has been deliberately withheld.
“People naturally assume that I am Han and Leia’s daughter,” Ridley has remarked, which – the more you read it – seems to imply that it is a misleading assumption…
In the movie, SF’s most famous couple fret over their son, now ensconced in the First Order; tellingly, neither of them acknowledge Rey in any way to suggest that she is their child as well. Instead, should we be looking to the other Skywalker to discover her parentage?
As the film progresses, it is quite evident that there is more to this mere “scavenger” than meets the eye… Her skills are apparently limitless: just for starters she can climb (and rappel); not only can she pilot a ship, she can fix it as well! The most obvious giveaway that she is Han’s daughter is that she’s good with a blaster, but – hang on – on the other hand, she defeats Kylo Ren in a lightsaber duel and plays a faultless Jedi mind-trick on poor, unsuspecting Stormtrooper TK007 😉 which would suggest that she’s Luke’s girl…
“The Force, it’s calling to you. Just let it in” – Maz Kanata.
Look at one of the movie’s best moments: Kylo Ren tries to summon Luke’s lightsaber – incidentally, how on
Earth Takodana did such a revered artefact come into Maz Kanata’s possession? – but it whisks straight past him and into the hands of Rey. As the script notes reveal, Anakin/Luke’s lightsaber: “calls out to [Rey] wanting her to become its new master.”
Moreover, that beloved overweight glob of grease: R2-D2 only powers up once Rey arrives at the Resistance base…
Expect Luke’s monologue from the second trailer (unused in the film, did you notice?) – most likely spoken to Rey – to form a vital crux of Episode VIII’s dialogue…
Ridley’s resistance to the media mind-probe these past few weeks has been particularly strong. She just emits that huge, full-beam, brilliant-white grin: “Is she an orphan? Who’s to say?”
[cue coquettish wink]
“[Rey] is an ordinary girl, in extraordinary circumstances” – J. J. Abrams.
“This was the first day! And I honestly wanted to die. I thought I was gonna cry, I couldn’t breathe.”
Why?! What happened?
“JJ probably doesn’t remember telling me that my performance was wooden,” Ridley explains. “And there was so many crew there… It was so hot… It was… awful.”
No worries: overall, she did a great job: “My experience has been incredible. I’ve felt supported and respected the whole way through.”
Seeing how it took only seven months and five auditions to win the role of the newest New Hope, it’s only fair that Daisy should get the final say:
“First and foremost for me, I want people to enjoy the film and think that I did a good job…”
Absolutely: “you have that power too.”
“Beyond that, I don’t know… When I actually first heard about the job, it was months before I auditioned. And I got a funny feeling in my body.”
Ha, pun intended?
“It felt like the whole time – even though I thought I was doing a shit job in the auditions – there was something pushing me on, telling me this was going to happen. So it kinda feels like the wheels continue to turn.”
- The first spinoff: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, currently in production, is set to hit theaters on 16 December, 2016;
- Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII is slated for release on 26 May, 2017;
- Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo Movie arrives on 25 May, 2018;
- Star Wars: Episode IX opens sometime in 2019;
- Lucasfilm is also developing a Third Star Wars Spin-Off Movie, which is presumably set for release in 2020.
“Classified? Me too…” – Rey ___??