Now that the second Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser has been released, the eight month wait between now and its December 2015 theatrical premiere seems all the more interminable. Though the new trailer provided fans with several new items to discuss and hypothesize over, there’s still very little we (officially) know about the film’s plot. Despite the rumor mill constantly swirling around, Disney has done a solid job keeping J.J. Abrams’ mystery box under lock and key.
But while we await things like a synopsis and confirmation of character names, the Mouse House has been willing to share some details with us. At Star Wars Celebration earlier this month, we learned more information about the apparent new leads of the saga – Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and Rey (Daisy Ridley). Ridley is the subject of today’s update, as new behind-the-scenes images of the actress on set have emerged.
While at the Celebration event, EW had a chance to catch up with the newcomer and briefly talk about her experience working on Episode VII (more on that in a minute). They also got a hold of a brand new picture of Abrams directing Ridley on location for a scene that seems to be set on the new desert planet Jakku:
Ridley looks to be standing on the leg of a fallen Imperial walker, which were last seen laying waste to Rebel forces during the Battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. We know that Jakku was the site of a great battle between the two warring factions at some point between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens, as both imagery from the film’s trailer (the fallen Star Destroyer) and footage from the new Battlefront video game have illustrated that this was a place of some importance as the Galactic Civil War rages on. Why that was so remains to be seen, but the new canon materials should answer some of those questions.
As for why Rey is so interested in the AT-AT, what clues we have about the character may provide some hints. She’s described as a “scavenger in a ship graveyard” on Jakku who lives a solitary life before her path intertwines with Finn. In the EW piece, it says that she picks through the wreckage of ruined vehicles to find materials to help her stay alive. Perhaps she’s about to go rummaging through to see what’s there, or the walker could be her makeshift shelter from the planet’s cruel environment.
EW also gave us a better look at a previously released image of Rey and her droid BB-8 (which you can see above). There’s not much to break down there; just a reinforcement of the fact that even if Rey is a solitary woman, she still has a friend to keep her company (like Luke always had R2-D2). Apparently little robots are the most faithful companions in the galaxy far, far away – whether you’re on a swamp world or in the middle of the scorching desert.
During her interview with EW, Ridley obviously couldn’t spill any story details for Force Awakens, but she did comment on the overall experience of working on the highly-anticipated movie. She touched on what it was like to work with the classic trilogy actors – who are returning to their iconic roles for the new installment – after watching the younger versions of her co-stars in the 1977 original:
“It was weird, in hindsight, going back to watching the film after having seen it, and then having worked with them, and then going to watch it again, it was a weird thing.”
Ridley probably speaks for most people by using the word “weird” to describe the whole thing. As much fun as it will be for fans to see Luke, Han, and Leia back on the big screen after all these years, it will be somewhat odd to watch elder versions of the heroes. When last we saw the dynamic trio, they were in the prime of their lives, seemingly putting an end to the Empire. Now that we’ll see them again, our views on their legacies could change (for better or worse), which admittedly is a weird prospect to consider.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be in theaters December 18, 2015.