Six Things You May Not Know About Rey
It’s hard to imagine calling Rey anything but, well, “Rey,” but that wasn’t the character’s original name. In the early stages of production, she was named Kira. Even Daisy Ridley believed that Kira was going to be her character’s name, but during filming in Abu Dhabi, J.J. Abrams revealed to Ridley that he was thinking of going with “Rey.”
A Starring Role…or Two
Ridley herself was largely unknown before being cast for the role of Rey. She actually auditioned for the role over the course of several months, and even after winning the role in April 2014, she had to keep her casting a secret for three months. But wait, lest we forget there were TWO Reys! We briefly see Rey as a child in a flashback scene in The Force Awakens. The part of young Rey was played by Cailey Fleming, well known for her role as Judith Grimes in The Walking Dead.
Who Is She? (We promise, no spoilers…!)
Much of the intrigue of Rey’s character was in the mystery that surrounded her. Who was she? Who were her parents? (And nope, even though we’re well past acceptable “spoiler alert” mode, you’re going have to see the films yourself to find the answers!). But we can tell you how old she is. According to The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary, Rey was born 15 years after A New Hope, making her 19 in The Force Awakens.
Daisy Ridley underwent extensive training to prepare for her role. Even though she did have a stunt double, Ridley did many of her own stunts. To prepare herself, she trained four hours a day, four days a week. Ridley would post inspiring images of her training on Instagram account. However, to avoid spoilers, she worked out with a pillowcase on her head in order not to reveal her hair style!
Rey’s costume was actually inspired be the original concept sketches of Luke Skywalker! When George Lucas was working on an early draft of Star Wars, he felt that the story was missing a major female character. In order to rectify that, he attempted to rework the plot to change Luke Skywalker’s role to a female. Concept artist Ralph McQuarrie even sketched out some ideas on what this character might look like. The idea was abandoned of course, but those original concepts would eventually inspire the look of Rey’s costume in The Force Awakens.
Where Are the Toys?
Were you one of the many who noticed a conspicuous lack of Rey-themed toys when The Force Awakens came out? If so, you weren’t imaging things. Even though Hasbro released a version of Monopoly based on The Force Awakens, it left out Rey. Why? It turns out that Rey (especially depictions of Rey holding a lightsaber) was left out in order to avoid revealing spoilers (since her connection with the Force and with Luke’s lightsaber were major plot points). But is that the real explanation? Most likely, though it was conceded that the demand for Rey products was vastly underestimated. Abrams himself said, “I will say that it seems preposterous and wrong that the main character of the movie is not well represented in what is clearly a huge piece of the Star Wars world in terms of merchandising.” The situation was quickly rectified however, and Rey-themed action figures and other merchandise were soon plentiful, and rightly so!