Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’s Daisy Ridley Teases Epic Lightsaber Duel With Kylo Ren

Rey Star Wars rise of Skywalker

It’s hard to believe we’re only a few months away from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the ninth and final entry in the Skywalker family saga that began with George Lucas’ 1977 film. Over the past 40-plus years, fans have come to expect a lot from this franchise, chief among them incredibly choreographed lightsaber fights. The good news, then, is that The Rise of Skywalker promises to have one of the most epic duels yet.

Earlier this year, Vanity Fair released about a dozen publicity images from the upcoming feature, from our first look at Keri Russell’s new masked character to a reintroduction to Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian. However, it was a striking image of Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren clashing with Daisy Ridley’s Rey in the middle of a massive storm that caught the attention of most fans. Rumors have floated around that there will be more to Episode IX’s climatic final battle than meets the eye, and one theory suggests that its setting could have personal ties to both characters, but all we know for sure at the moment is that it at least looks seriously cool.

While speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Ridley broke down the arduous process of creating that scene and how it fits into the larger narrative of the series:

“I just think they’ve done a great job with all the relationships. With the fun friendships, and with the sort of strange thing with Rey and Kylo… also we have a great fight. A great fight. And I was really happy that the Vanity Fair pictures did show a bit of it. It’s a great fight. Like I’ve become such a better fighter and they made the lightsabers lighter, so it actually looks like we’re swinging light and not like heavy [swords]…

This fight, it was November, we had water being thrown at us—I’m not gonna complain about the cold, I’m just not gonna do it (laughs)—so it was like a real thing of stamina. It felt really epic, and it felt epic even at the time. One can only imagine what it’s gonna look like.”

2017’s The Last Jedi, which broke many long-standing traditions within the film series, was notable for being the first mainline Star Wars movie to not feature two lightsabers clashing for the entirety of its runtime. Instead, fans were treated with a jaw-dropping “Throne Room” battle that stands as one of the best action beats in the entire franchise. Then, the film wrapped up with a non-fight of sorts between Kylo Ren and a force projection of Luke Skywalker, an emotionally raw scene that’s still quite divisive amongst viewers even two years later.

Director J.J. Abrams has stated that he no longer feels “beholden” to the franchise, so whether or not fans will find Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker just as contentious has yet to be seen. We’ll know for certain though when it opens in theaters on December 20th, 2019.