Billie Lourd Was Among Those Who Auditioned For Rey In Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Ever since A New Hope inspired a generation in ’77, the Star Wars franchise has always revolved around one central theme: family.

Yes, for better or worse, the Skywalkers have anchored Lucasfilm’s crown jewel for 40 years, and will continue to do so until the release of Star Wars: Episode IX in two years’ time – December 2019, to be specific. But the fact that the creators place such a heavy emphasis on family meant that Carrie Fisher’s tragic, untimely death in December of 2016 left the Star Wars fanbase in a state of mourning.

Hailed as the people’s princess, Fisher’s death means that The Last Jedi will signal her final appearance as Leia Organa – no VFX resurrection in Episode IX, or beyond – and there is perhaps no one who felt that loss more than her beloved daughter, Billie Lourd. Granted, the young actress did have a small cameo in The Force Awakens as Lieutenant Connix – her first screen credit, no less – but while appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show (via, Lourd revealed that she initially auditioned for the role of Rey.

That coveted gig ultimately went to Daisy Ridley, who left J.J. Abrams completely speechless after her intense audition tape. And here, Billie Lourd recalls the moment when she was called in by the director.

J.J. Abrams called me to come in for Star Wars because he couldn’t find someone for the lead. He ended up finding Daisy Ridley, who’s an incredible actress—so talented! But I went in and he ended up giving me this tiny role with a couple lines. I was super excited.

Still grieving the loss of her mother and grandmother, Debbie Reynolds, Lourd then touched on what it was like to share a Star Wars experience with the late Carrie Fisher.

It was incredible. I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason, and I think I ended up in that movie for a reason. It was really incredible for us to get to have that experience together.

Following in the footsteps of The Force Awakens and Rogue One, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the next product of Disney and Lucasfilm’s rebooted juggernaut, and it’ll be with us on December 15th. Episode IX, on the other hand, recently welcomed J.J. Abrams on board in place of the ousted Colin Trevorrow. He’ll now begin penning the script alongside Chris Terrio of Justice League fame.

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