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Daisy Ridley’s New ‘Star Wars’ Director Says ‘It’s About Time’ We Had a Female Filmmaker ‘Come Forward to Shape the Galaxy Far, Far Away’


Daisy Ridley‘s Rey is coming back to the big screen in a new “Star Wars” movie directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (“Ms. Marvel”) and written by Steven Knight (“Peaky Blinders”). The film makes Obaid-Chinoy the first woman and first person of color to direct a “Star Wars” feature film. Previous film directors in the franchise include original creator George Lucas, Irvin Kershner (“Empire Strikes Back”), Richard Marquand (“Return of the Jedi”), J.J. Abrams (“The Force Awakens,” “The Rise of Skywalker”) and Rian Johnson (“The Last Jedi”). While “Star Wars” television projects have featured female directors, most notably Deborah Chow, the movies have shut them out until now.

“I’m very thrilled about the project because I feel what we’re about to create is something very special,” Obaid-Chinoy recently told CNN. “We’re in 2024 now, and it’s about time that we had a woman come forward to shape a story in a galaxy far, far away.”

Not too much is known about Ridley’s “Star Wars” return, which will pick up with Rey following the events of 2019’s “The Rise of Skywalker.” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said at last year’s Star Wars Celebration that Ridley’s new film will follow Rey as she builds a new Jedi Order. The executive teased a bit more about the plot in an interview with IGN by revealing “Star Wars” fans will pick up with Rey well over a decade after “The Rise of Skywalker.”

“Well we’re 15 years out from ‘Rise of Skywalker,’ so we’re post-war, post-First Order, and the Jedi are in disarray,” Kennedy confirmed. “There’s a lot of discussion around, ‘Who are the Jedi? What are they doing? What’s the state of the galaxy?’ She’s attempting to rebuild the Jedi Order, based on the books, based on what she promised Luke, so that’s where we’re going.”

When asked if Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker could be involved in the film via flashbacks or as a Force ghost like he was in “The Rise of Skywalker,” Kennedy answered: “I don’t know if we’ll spend a lot of time in flashbacks or [on] Force ghosts or things like that, but certainly, the spirit of what he represents to her is going to be significant.”

Ridley told Collider in November that she had not yet read the script for her new movie but she did know the story plan. “I’m very excited,” she said. “The story is really cool … It’s not what I expected, but I’m very excited.”

In an interview with Variety at Star Wars Celebration, Kennedy said Ridley was “out of her mind excited” to return to the franchise as Rey.

“It was a pretty straightforward phone call,” Kennedy said about asking Ridley to return. “I started out by just saying, ‘Hey, I think we’re getting near being ready.’ We’ve been talking a lot about what we’re doing in the movie space and I said, ‘I think we’re getting close to being ready. How would you like to go to Celebration?’ That was really the beginning of it. She was out of her mind excited.”

In addition to Obaid-Chinoy’s Rey movie, Lucasfilm is also developing two more “Star Wars” movie: An origin story about the Force directed by James Mangold and a film from franchise veteran Dave Filoni that will wrap up the story being told across television series such as “The Mandalorian” and “Ahsoka.”