Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, and others reveal their intense training for their physically demanding roles in a new featurette for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Ridley and Driver, especially, will be wielding their lightsabers frequently in the highly anticipated follow-up to The Force Awakens, whether it's against each other or their respective enemies. It's clear that director Rian Johnson's stunt team put them and the rest of the main cast through the wringer to make sure they would be ready for the ferocity of the sequel's many fight scenes.
A large part of Ridley's training for her performance as Rey involves her scenes with Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, which have been seen extensively shown in trailers and TV spots. Driver also needed to prepare diligently to make Kylo Ren as formidable a fighter as he was in The Force Awakens, if not more. It's no surprise that their work with the stunt team was as painstaking as any process in bringing the film to life.
You can get a glimpse of their training in a new featurette, which you can watch above via the official Star Wars YouTube channel. The stunt team appeared particularly impressed with Ridley's training; assistant fight coordinator Liang Yang called her a "very quick learner," remarking that he had planned to teach her the full "routine" in three days but it only took an hour and a half. Johnson reveals that during a scene with Luke on the planet Ahch-To, Rey initially works with her staff before realizing that she had Luke's lightsaber in her satchel. That leads to a powerful moment that was revealed in the film's final trailer.
Driver, who inspired Ridley with his intensity and all-out effort in his training with the fight teams, described his lightsaber work as "rigorous, in a great way." He also complimented the "very disciplined" stunt teams, adding that "You can't half-ass it" in your training. There's also some shots of John Boyega and Gwendoline Christie training as Finn and Captain Phasma, a pair that will come "face to face" for a battle in one of The Last Jedi's more pivotal moments. Newcomer Kelly Marie Tran is additionally shown training for her breakthrough role as Rose Tico.
The featurette shows plenty of Ridley and Driver fighting off would-be enemies, but not each other. It's understandable that they wouldn't want to reveal a moment like that. But it's clear that they trained closely together and Rey and Kylo's fates will certainly be intertwined in some capacity, and also that both characters will have to battle against multiple adversaries at once - whether they end up on the same side or not.
Beyond Johnson's micro-spoiler about Rey's use of Luke's lightsaber, the featurette reveals little about The Last Jedi besides how hard the cast had to work to get into fighting shape. But it's a great sign that Johnson put everyone through such fierce training, and the hope is that their hard work is reflected in the final cut.
Source: Star Wars
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- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019