Four months after the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, sequel trilogy star Daisy Ridley is opening up about her feelings on the criticism the film faced. Around the time of Rise of Skywalker‘s December 2019 release, the final installment in the 40-plus year Skywalker saga — the foundation upon which the rest of the Star Wars universe and fandom is built — received lukewarm to negative reviews from critics and some fans despite cracking the $500 million mark in domestic earnings and $1 billion worldwide.
Now, it’s Ridley’s turn to step up to the plate and speak her piece. The Star Wars actor chose the DragCast podcast (via Entertainment Weekly) as the venue to air her thoughts on the Rise of Skywalker critiques. Ridley began by broadly addressing the come-down of being faced with fans who seemingly turned on the Skywalker sequel trilogy upon seeing Rise of Skywalker after loving previous installments.
“It’s changed film by film honestly, like 98% it’s so amazing, this last film it was really tricky. January was not that nice. It was weird, I felt like all of this love that we’d sort of been shown the first time around, I was like, ‘Where’s the love gone?'”
Turning her attention to The Skywalker Legacy making-of documentary featured on the Blu-ray/DVD release of the movie, Ridley then shared how her feelings watching the featurette didn’t seem to gel with the public’s reaction to the movie. For Ridley, it was tough attempting to reconcile the warm feelings she had remembering making the movie, as stirred up by revisiting the making-of doc, and the apparently lukewarm to negative reaction of the fans.
“I watched the documentary, the making-of [The Skywalker Legacy], this week. And it’s so filled with love, and I think it’s that tricky thing of when you’re part of something that is so filled with love and then people [don’t like it]. You know, everyone’s entitled to not like something, but it feels like it’s changed slightly. But I think in general that’s because social media and what have you.”
Now that some time has passed following Rise of Skywalker‘s release and the film is now being included in broader Star Wars discussions, Ridley is also grappling with how the film (and the previous Skywalker sequel pics she’s starred in) are being talked about. Admitting she does at least look at some of the reactions online (oof, talk about a thorny corner of the internet), Ridley shared,
“I guess now conversations are just more public, so there’s stuff I wouldn’t have seen, but honestly trying to scroll through my newsfeed in January and trying to not see Star Wars stuff, I’d see headlines and be like ‘Oh my god this is so upsetting.’ So it’s been tricky, but then it’s having that thing of I feel really proud of it, and I’m so thrilled to be part of it.”
Ridley rarely gets so honest about her experiences with the negative side of the Skywalker sequel trilogy, but her candor her will surely be appreciated in the long run. For better or worse, Rise of Skywalker is the final chapter fans have to close out the Skywalker storyline and all of us, cast and crew included, will have to make peace with that fact.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is currently available on digital, Blu-ray, and DVD. For more, check out Daisy Ridley reading a Star Wars story for some feel-good vibes.