Daisy Ri­d­ley teases with porgs, Kylo Ren, more

But she makes a stop to give us a peek at ‘Jedi’

USA TODAY International Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Bryan Alexan­der

As Star Wars: The Last Jedi ap­proaches, star whets our ap­petites with a few fun nuggets.

Daisy Ri­d­ley can’t es­cape her Star Wars fame, even as a mys­te­ri­ous mur­der sus­pect rid­ing the op­u­lent 1930’s train in Mur­der on the Ori­ent Ex­press.

While film­ing Mur­der (in the­aters now), di­rec­tor Ken­neth Branagh of­fered to let Ri­d­ley use a lightsaber in a key scene (she de­clined), and co-star Josh Gad pep­pered her with Star Wars ques­tions off­set on video, even pulling in Judi Dench for one in­ter­ro­ga­tion.

We, too, had a few queries as Ri­d­ley gets set to ride again as Rey in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (open­ing Dec. 15). Here’s what we learned:

Ri­d­ley is so pro-porgs. (Rey, not so much.)

The free world fell in love when the chubby porgs made a scream­ing de­but in The Last Jedi trailer last month. It hit Ri­d­ley, too.

She lists a porg toy as one of her prize pos­ses­sions.

“It’s bring­ing a lot of plea­sure right now,” says Ri­d­ley, call­ing the char­ac­ter “adorable” and “hi­lar­i­ous.”

The love af­fair started on set with the goofy look­ing pup­pet, op­er­ated by the same crew who han­dle droid BB-8. “It’s won­der­ful to be work­ing around prac­ti­cal things on set that have such per­son­al­ity,” Ri­d­ley says.

But Rey won’t fall for the crea­tures’ charms. “Rey, hon­estly, is too wrapped up in her own jour­ney to pay at­ten­tion to porgs. Which is a sad thing.”

Snoke will pro­vide the worst kind of ‘test’ for Rey.

Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) ain’t pretty and acts worse. “He looks men­tal. Snoke is an evil guy, if you can call him a guy,” Ri­d­ley says.

Last Jedi’s trailer shows Rey scream­ing un­der Snoke’s tor­ture. Ri­d­ley says the tor­ture scenes were long enough to leave her hoarse: “It was painful. My throat hurt af­ter that one.”

“Snoke is one of those tests for Rey,” she adds. “And when I say test­ing, it’s the worst use of ‘test­ing’ ever.”

Watch for Kylo Ren and Rey time.

Is there some­thing spe­cial go­ing on with Rey and Dark Side-dwelling Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)? The two seem to have a con­nec­tion in the trail­ers. Ri­d­ley choses her words care­fully. “These are two peo­ple who rep­re­sent two very dif­fer­ent sides of life, good and evil,” she says. “That’s go­ing to be ex­plored more in this.”

Luke is an­noyed with Rey.

Rey is ex­pect­ing Luke Sky­walker to be thrilled to get his lightsaber back in Last Jedi. But he’s not happy to see her. “She thinks there’s go­ing to be a warm wel­come. But Luke went to this is­land to get away and he doesn’t want to be dis­turbed,” Ri­d­ley says.

Don’t fret. Sky­walker takes “a tremen­dous jour­ney from the be­gin­ning of the re­la­tion­ship to ul­ti­mately where they end up in the film.”

Judi Dench re­ally doesn’t know squat about Star Wars.

Dench seems to be a Star Wars nut, grilling Ri­d­ley in one of Gad’s videos on fan minu­tiae such as whether she had been tested for midi-chlo­ri­ans, liv­ing cells in tune with the Force (from Episode I — The Phan­tom Men­ace).

She played the part well, but Dench doesn’t have Force fever.

“She was like, ‘Medi ... midi-chlo­ri­ans, what is that?’ Josh and I had to ex­plain,” says Ri­d­ley, who adds she and Gad had to sti­fle their laughs when cam­eras rolled.

Dench did ask Ri­d­ley to shoot a per­sonal Star Wars video for her grand­son: “Ob­vi­ously he’s very in­ter­ested.”



Daisy Ri­d­ley leaves be­hind a snow­bound train for a galaxy far, far away next month in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

Luke Sky­walker (Mark Hamill) has been holed up and does not like vis­i­tors, even when they bring gifts.

Porgs take their bow as this film’s adorable crea­ture.

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