LIVE
By Chris Tauber
December 13, 2017 03:39 PM
Advertisement

Since her debut as new Star Wars heroine Rey in 2015’s The Force Awakens, Daisy Ridley herself has become more Jedi-like. She now has her own lightsaber at home (a gift from the film crew) and really knows how to use it.

“I was able to do more than I had thought – it was the best feeling,” she says in PEOPLE’s new special issue Star Wars: The Ultimate Guide to The Last Jedi (on newsstands now) of her battle-training for The Last Jedi. “Picking up a lightsaber and doing the fight, I knew how much further I could go.”

Heading into Episode VIII, the question is how far Rey goes with the Force and down which path: the light or the dark. One thing is certain — this is not your father’s Jedi.

Grab Cut Insert Cut F:PHOTOMediaFactory ActionsRequests DropBox48334#disneyEP8-FF-005222.jpg
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
| Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

As Mark Hamill teases about Luke Skywalker’s relationship to Rey, “You wouldn’t want to see a retread of Obi-Wan Kenobi, where I’m the benign Jedi Knight training her. That’s been done. The whole idea of these movies is to try to keep it fresh and give the audience something they’ve never seen before.”

Whatever happens, Ridley is thankful for a career that has blasted her into hyperspace.

“I will always attribute 90 percent of life to J.J. Abrams,” Ridley, 25, says regarding the director of Episode XII and 2019’s Episode IX. “I e-mail him regularly saying, ‘By the way, thanks again.’ Because he was the guy that cast me in the beginning.”

star-wars-last-jedi

Find out more about Rey, Ridley and the secrets of Star Wars In PEOPLE’s new special issue Star Wars: The Ultimate Guide to The Last Jedi (on newsstands now) and an exclusive PeopleTV special.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters Dec. 15.