When the entire main cast of Star Wars Episode VII was announced on April 29, there was much speculation on Twitter about who Daisy Ridley is. The new female lead is almost unknown to the public prior the announcement. Other than a few images online and an updated information about her role in the upcoming Star Wars film on IMDB, little is known about the British actress who had appeared a number of TV series, such as Casuality and Toast of London, and a recent film Scrawl. Many Star Wars zealots and fans speculated that Daisy Ridley may play the role of Han Solo and Princess Leia’s daughter, Jaina Solo.
In July 2013, IGN speculated that Star Wars Episode VII will focus more on the children of heroes from the original trilogy, featuring the son and daughter of Han and Leia, Jacen and Jaina Solo. While there is no official announcement about any of the cast playing Jacen or Jaina, the rumor about Ridley started with a black and white photo of the entire cast sitting in a circle with Ridley sitting between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, who are reprising their famous roles of Solo and Leia, respectively. “FridayFilmCulb” on Twitter tweeted, “Daisy Ridley sitting inbetween Ford and Fisher? She must be their daughter.” If Daisy Ridley will play the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia in the next Star Wars film, just who is Jaina Solo?
In the Expanded Universe of Star Wars, Jaina is the twin sister of Jacen, who was born about nine years after the Battle of Yavin from Star War: A New Hope. Like her father, she was one of the few best pilots in Rogue Squadron and was adept in machinery. Jaina also inherited Leia’s sensitivity to the Force, making her a Jedi Knight like her uncle Luke Skywalker. Most illustrations of Jaina Solo, such as the picture (by artist Chris Trevas) next to Daisy Ridley’s photo, depict her as young and wise yet determined. Others depict her as a fierce young warrior, like the one by artist Jason Felix below. If Ridley is to play such a physical role as a Jedi Knight, she will have to train for at least six months of the art of the lightsaber as well as developing a physique that matches Jaina’s.
If Daisy Ridley plays Jaina, who will play her twin brother? It’s not quite known yet, and Disney — who bought LucasArts in 2012 and took over the Star Wars franchise — revealed almost nothing about the plot. It may or may not follow the story as written and told in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. What is known is that Episode VII will take place about 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi.
Whether or not she plays the role of Han and Leia’s Jaina Solo, Daisy Ridley may become one of the most promising new celebrities in the new Star Wars film, along with John Boyega, Oscar Issac, and Adam Driver whose roles are not currently yet known. Filming is currently taking place at Pinewood Studios in London. The Star Wars saga will strike back in theaters on December 18, 2015.
Opinion by Nick Ng
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