Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in 2019’s “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker,” says the the smooch between her character and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren in the movie “felt earned” despite what some critics had to say at the time of its release.
“It’s still upsetting,” Ridley said reflecting on the backlash during an appearance on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, video of which you can watch above. “You don’t want people to feel like you’ve not served the thing they’re a fan of.”
Ridley was addressing a segment of fans who disagreed with the two characters’ kiss, which took place before Ren’s death. Some fans were pleased with the romantic peck while others didn’t think it fit into the full plot of the story.
“I felt like we all….it felt earned,” Ridley said. “What was interesting again is intentionality. My feeling in that moment was that it was a goodbye, and that felt earned. You can call a kiss a thousand things, but I felt it was a goodbye. That whole scene felt emotional and I felt I was saying goodbye to the job, too.”
Ridley will reprise the role Rey in new “Stars Wars” movie, which will be written by Steven Knight (“Peaky Blinders”).
Now that time has passed, Ridley feels fans are singing a different tune. Ridley said that before meeting with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, she was approached by fans who were excited to see what more the franchise was going to do with the character.
“What was strange was before I had breakfast with Kathy last year, I had five people come to me and go, ‘Are they going to do any more with you?'” Ridley said. “And it was really strange. In this six to eight months before that, the way with which I was being greeted by people’s response to [‘Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker’] was quite different than it had been before. Time had passed. that was really strange.”
Regardless of how “Star Wars” fans felt, director J.J. Abrams called the kiss “spiritual” rather than “romantic.”
“There is as much of a brother-sister thing between Rey and Kylo Ren as there is a romantic thing,” Abrams said at the time in an interview, after the film’s premiere. “So it’s not like literally a sexual, romantic thing, but it’s more like they’re bound together in this movie in a crazy, spiritual way that, again, felt romantic to me.”
Watch more of the podcast interview with Ridley in video at the top of this post.
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