The Force Awakens didn't just mark Carrie Fisher's return to the Star Wars franchise after more than three decades. It also let her work with her daughter, Billie Lourd, who appeared as Lieutenant Connix. But had events played out differently, it's possible Lourd could have had a much bigger part in the movie, as director J.J. Abrams originally planned to bring her in to audition for Rey, the role that eventually went to Daisy Ridley. While chatting about how she followed Fisher and her grandmother, Debbie Reynolds, into the world of acting, Lourd revealed the following:
J.J. Abrams called me to come in for Star Wars because he couldn't find someone for the lead. He ended up finding Daisy Ridley, who's an incredible actress and so talented.
Looking at Daisy Ridley's resume, it's understandable why J.J. Abrams selected her to play Rey. While Billie Lourd hadn't acted before The Force Awakens, Ridley had collected a number of short film and television credits in the United Kingdom, and she made her feature film debut in the supernatural horror-thriller Scrawl. She certainly wasn't a household name yet, but with that body of work, she was unquestionably the more experienced performer. However, as Lourd explained during her appearance on Ellen, Abrams gave her the Lieutenant Connix role later on. She may have only had a few lines, but at least she can brag about being able to contribute to the Star Wars universe just like her mom.
Rather than just use The Force Awakens as a lone opportunity to see what acting was like, Billie Lourd officially kicked off her acting career with the Star Wars movie. After filming The Force Awakens, she was cast as Sadie Swenson (a.k.a. Chanel #3) in the Fox series Scream Queens, which aired for two seasons. Lourd also appearing in the upcoming movie Billionaire Boys Club, and she's currently playing Winter Anderson on American Horror Story.
As for Billie Lourd's Star Wars character, Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix, she was briefly seen in The Force Awakens as one of the many Resistance officers working at the organization's base on D'Qar. Connix will return for The Last Jedi later this year, which will see her alongside General Leia Organa again. Sadly, The Last Jedi also marks Carrie Fisher's last performance, as the actress passed away at the end of 2016. Even sadder is that Debbie Reynolds died a day after Fisher, so needless to say that was a difficult period for Lourd. However, at least she's helping keep the Star Wars legacy going for her mom, and hopefully she'll be back in 2019 for Episode IX, assuming Connix isn't gunned down by a First Order soldier during The Last Jedi.