As I wrote out the headline, I questioned how much sense this rumor really makes. That rumor is that Daisy Ridley will return for another Star Wars film after this December's The Rise of Skywalker. The film will supposedly be a solo adventure for the Rey character. Now, right off the bat, I urge you take this with a grain of salt. I am taking this particular rumor from wegotthiscovered.com, so I am not certain of the validity of this rumor. The source has previously provided solid information, so who knows. Maybe the source's source is wrong. The reason I really question the validity of this is because with the franchises such as Star Wars, The MCU, Worlds of DC... There are countless headlines saying, "So-and-so is developing THIS movie for this character," or what have you. It feels like every time someone in any of those companies spitballs something, it gets reported as the next movie on their slate. The rumors are as rampant as ever nowadays, so yeah.
With that said, let's speculate! Well, first let us go over the history of how Rey was introduced and what she has really been so far. I am excited about a potential Rey solo movie. I really do love the character of Rey. She is my favorite Star Wars character. It's tough to say that with my guy, Qui-Gonn existing, but you have to make tough decisions sometimes. That's life! I have come to understand some of the critiques, the negative ones, of Rey in this sequel trilogy. The most common and general one being that she is a Mary Sue. I don't like to admit it, but she is. Her power, backstory, and character feel rushed. I like Ridley's portrayal of the character for sure, but the material in which she has to work with isn't the easiest. There hints of a good, strong character, but the way her force powers have progressed have stifled a lot of the fans ability to like the character. I also think that part of the problem is that she is the lead of a Star Wars movie. More than one, actually. So, it isn't very easy to create a new character in this canon (a canon in which you threw out 90% of what many people loved about it) that is interesting, fresh, strong, and like-able while trying to carry out all that you have to with a Star Wars movie. This sequel trilogy is dealing with the nostalgia of the original trilogy, having to advance and then end Luke, Leia, and Han's stories, introducing the resistance, the first order, Kylo Ren, etc.. Then each filmmaker has their own stories, ideas, and themes, that they are dedicating screen time to showing and telling, so there is a lot going in these Star Wars movies in terms of focus.
When Disney decided not to start with one movie dedicated to Luke, Leia, and Han, they immediately backed themselves into a corner. Rey HAD to be immensely powerful right off the bat and she had to be able to help lead the resistance, form a a bond with chewy, be the ONE. There was no easy way to introduce her slower than they did. Well, I am sure there was, but social and political ideals influence these movies at times (like they do almost every single movie ever) and there some decisions made with the intent of enticing a certain audience and making boatloads of cash.
SO, Rey has had an underwhelming journey so far, in my opinion. This news and my thoughts or hopes for this possible Rey movie will be mostly null until we see what happens The Rise of Skywalker. It is pretty unclear how Rey's journey through the trilogy will end. I assume she is going to survive. This is the final main Skywalker saga movie, so things will end on a high note (mostly.)
The rumor points to the possible Rey movie taking place after the sequel trilogy. It will deal with the Aftermath of The Rise of Skywalker and how it effects Rey and her lineage. What I want from a Rey solo movie, which I really want one, is something that takes a break from the big stuff. I am not particularly craving a super small, character driven, art house story film (although that'd be pretty wild.) So, make it an epic. A summer blockbuster if you'd like, Disney. I just don't want her story in a solo film to be weighed down by telling the story of the whole universe after The Rise of Skywalker or establishing exactly where Star Wars movies will go from here on out. I don't want a bunch of overwhelming cameos and connections. Disney should ditch the MCU style approach for this one and maybe take up the Worlds of DC approach. If they do indeed make this film, then they should take a little bit of time. Get the story right before you start. Rey doesn't need to be the glue holding Star Wars together. Don't force that. Instead, focus on expanding her emotions, backstory, and filling out here character. The movie will need to stand on it's own, but if done right, it can be a WONDERFUL compliment to the sequel trilogy and her story within it specifically. Really, I see this as a great chance to spend more time in an actual film (not a comic or novel or Facebook video or whatever) and to make her character more dimensional and fulfilled. Rey has potential to be so interesting and dynamic, but she is being held back within the sequel trilogy because of all the stories, themes, ideas, and future story lines that they have to juggle in films such as these. This is also a film in which they can continue to expand on the force. They can delve into the new ideals of the Light side of the force and really play with some powers that we haven't seen on the big screen before. Rey is one of the more powerful force users in the franchise, so increasing and exploring her abilities with the force, while developing her character into a more dimensional one can really make for a compelling movie. It can win back some of the Rey naysayers. I unfortunately think that a lot of the people who have problems with her particularly and the Disney owned Star Wars content as a whole, are beyond turning back (WELL, THEN YOU ARE LOST!) So, it is kind of a pipe dream for me to hope that a Rey solo movie can bring some of them back to like or at least tolerate the character. Still, I really love Rey and think there can be a really compelling story told in a solo movie for her.
Daisy Ridley has spoken before on how she doesn't quite love being such a huge movie star and has had some bad experiences with fans (the Star Wars fandom is in a very hostile state right now as we all know and feel.) She has also touched on not wanting to be stuck in Star Wars forever or type cats only as an action hero in interviews. She doesn't want to be a one trick pony. So, I am not sure how pumped up she would be to do a solo movie for Rey. I don;'t know truly and totally how she feels, so I can't say for sure, you know. Maybe starring in a-whole-nother trilogy or series is something that she doesn't like the sound of, but maybe a more self contained, one-off is more enticing? As I previously put forth, a solo movie for this character (one with so much potential) could really be interesting. The article on We Got This Covered includes the tidbit that Disney wants J.J. Abrams to direct the film. I don't particularly love J.J., but he is one who has spent (maybe) the most time developing and directing that character, so he would be a good choice. If they go another direction, Bryce Dallas Howard could be a good choice. She is directing an episode of The Mandalorian for Disney+ and has been an upcoming directing talent (most of her bread has been made on screen so far.) This would continue to increase the diversity (a tiny bit) behind the camera for Star Wars (which has been a noted issues) as well. I don't know. Maybe this doesn't happen because Daisy Ridley refuses (although Disney may be able to offer a pretty rich contract.) Maybe the role is recast (which I would HATE.) Maybe J.J. Abrams refuses. Maybe they don't find a good director or script to go forward with. Maybe this is just a silly rumor that doesn't get past the idea stage.
I don't know anything for sure, but I am damn excited at the possibility of a solo movie for Rey, with Daisy Ridley in the role. Drop a comment below and let me know how you feel about this rumor and what you would like to see from a Rey solo movie (if you even want to)! Thank you for reading this, make sure to check out the most recent episode of the podcast on YouTube and pretty much wherever you get your podcasts!