Daisy Ridley Speaks Out on Star Wars Fandom and Sexism Debate

Daisy Ridley Addresses the Narrative of Sexism in Star Wars Fandom

Amidst the vibrant tapestry of Star Wars fandom, discussions about sexism within the community have often sparked intense debate. Recently, Daisy Ridley, known for her role as Rey in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, offered her perspective on this sensitive subject. Speaking on NBC’s “TODAY” show, Ridley shared her thoughts on the matter, particularly in light of the announcement of Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy as the director of the upcoming Star Wars movie, “New Jedi Order.”

Ridley’s Take on Fan Backlash

Daisy Ridley’s journey as Rey, from “The Force Awakens” in 2015 to “The Rise of Skywalker” in 2019, was met with a mix of adulation and controversy. The introduction of a female lead in the storied franchise was a progressive step, but it wasn’t without its detractors. Ridley, however, feels that the narrative surrounding sexism in the Star Wars fandom may be more complex than it appears on the surface.

“I think my take is, things get blown out of proportion, and the interactions that I’ve had with people have been nothing but wonderful and supportive,” Ridley stated on the “TODAY” show. She emphasized that her personal experiences with fans have been overwhelmingly positive, marked by encouragement and acceptance.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s Involvement and the Ongoing Debate

The announcement that Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, an Academy and Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, would helm the next Star Wars film was a significant milestone for the franchise. Not only is she the first woman to direct a feature film in the series, but she’s also the first person of color to take on such a role. This decision, however, has not been free from criticism, with some fans expressing concerns over the emphasis on her gender and race.

Ridley, who is excited about the new project, expressed her admiration for Obaid-Chinoy’s work and vision for the story. “Her documentaries are amazing. Her idea for the story is cool as s**t,” Ridley commented, indicating her confidence in Obaid-Chinoy’s capabilities as a director, beyond any gender-related narratives.

The Broader Context of Sexism in Star Wars

The Star Wars community’s reaction to female involvement in the series has been mixed. From Daisy Ridley’s initial casting as Rey to the backlash faced by Kelly Marie Tran for her role in the sequel trilogy, there have been instances where criticism has veered into sexism and racism. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, too, has often faced criticism with a sexist undertone.

However, Ridley’s perspective offers a nuanced view. While acknowledging these issues, she also highlights the positive experiences and support from the broader fan community. This view is essential in understanding the multifaceted nature of fandoms, where negative voices, often amplified online, do not necessarily represent the majority.

Looking Forward

As Daisy Ridley returns to the Star Wars universe with the upcoming “New Jedi Order,” her experiences and growth as an actor since her first appearance in the franchise have equipped her to navigate the complexities of fandom reactions. Her remarks underscore the importance of discerning between the loud minority and the supportive majority within fan communities.

The conversation about gender dynamics in Star Wars is ongoing, but Ridley’s comments provide an important perspective on the issue, emphasizing the need for a balanced view that recognizes both the challenges and the positive aspects of the Star Wars fandom​​​​​​.