Daisy Ridley: The First "Star Wars" Female Hero

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Daisy Ridley was pretty much an unknown actress when she was cast as Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. With the film's premiere in many cities on Thursday, she's soon to be known as a Star Wars hero.

In a recent interview with Elle, Ridley talked about the new direction the Star Wars franchise has taken with regard to wardrobe and female heroes.

“Young girls can look at her and know that they can wear trousers if they want to,” she said. “That they don’t have to show off their bodies.”

Daisy Ridley doesn't appear in a gold "slave" bikini in the film. Instead she wears a very nondescript beige tunic. The wardrobe selection packs a powerful punch as the franchise now has a female hero.

Prior to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the franchise has been all about male heroes. The Hunger Games series of films, with Jennifer Lawrence starring as Katniss Everdeen, no doubt played a role in the change.

Daisy Ridley's character Rey is an "orphaned desert scavenger."

The New York Post writes Rey can "repair ships, scale walls and take down enemies with her stick weapon — often while a male character stands helplessly by. She is also mysteriously powerful in the ways of The Force."

Daisy Ridley is 2015's Luke Skywalker--and a darn good one at that.

“In 2015, there was no scenario in which we weren’t going to bring balance to the way we tell these stories,” Kathleen Kennedy, producer of the new film told Elle. “And Daisy had a physicality and a self-confidence that was so important to the character we were looking for. She epitomizes that optimism where anything is possible.”

So how does one go from unknown to a Star Wars hero?

Daisy Ridley explains.

“I had four or five auditions over seven months, and it was a very emotional time,” she said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter. “My first few auditions really didn’t feel good, but my last audition suddenly felt like something clicked.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams wanted fresh faces. Daisy Ridley was among those fresh faces, and she also had the kind of toughness the director wanted.

The rest, as they say, is history, and Daisy Ridley is no doubt about to make just that as the first female Star Wars hero.

Are you headed to the theater on Thursday or Friday--or will you wait a week or two until the crowds thin out a bit?

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.