Daisy Ridley Was Shocked By The Dark Side Rey Reveal In Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker D23 Footage

Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

The live-action/animation presentation was held this morning at D23 Expo 2019, and Disney wasted no time dropping major bombshells. The event kicked off with a preview of what’s ahead for LucasFilm – namely the arrival of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker – and that included the debut of exclusive footage that seemingly revealed Daisy Ridley’s Rey will go to the Dark Side, as she is depicted wearing a dark cloak and wielding a red double-bladed lightsaber.

Needless to say, this tiny bit of footage blew the roof off of the Anaheim Convention Center – but it wasn’t only the 7,000 fans in attendance who were totally shocked by what was shown on the arena’s multiple screens. Daisy Ridley was also totally surprised that the scene was included in the Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker reel, as she revealed to us backstage during the star-studded press line:

I went to Bad Robot yesterday and I was like, 'Hey, can I see the teaser'? They were like, 'Yeah, yeah.' No warning. And I watch, and went [inhales deeply] 'Oh my god, are you really putting that in there?' That was my reaction. And then watching it today, it was weird because I felt nervous with it coming because I knew it was going to be. And then hearing the audience reaction was amazing.

Having actually shot the scenes, Daisy Ridley obviously already knew that there is a point in Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker where Rey carries the special weapon and wears that costume. Her surprise came from a different place – namely the shock that J.J. “King Of Secrets” Abrams would show such a massive thing to a humungous audience.

Those emotions transformed into something else when Daisy Ridley was with the D23 Expo audience, as she really loved hearing the reaction of the crowd. Everybody had their own response to it, whether it was a deep inhale, a scream, or an out loud “Holy shit!” (that last one was me), but needless to say there was a spectacular energy in the room.

Of course, as things stand we don’t fully know what to make of the Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker footage. The shots of Dark Side Rey didn’t really have any particular context. This could easily be a misdirect, and perhaps be from a dream sequence that shows what could happen if the main protagonist of the sequel trilogy went down the villain path – while in actuality she never diverts from being the hero.

CinemaBlend actually got to speak to a number of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker stars at D23 Expo 2019, including not only Daisy Ridley, but also John Boyega, Anthony Daniels, and BB-8. You can watch our interviews with them below!

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker will be bringing a legendary era of cinema to an end this December, as the saga that began with the original 1977 film plays out its final chapter.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.