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Entertainment Weekly

Star Wars

Star Wars: Watch Daisy Ridley's grueling lightsaber training for The Last Jedi

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Rey’s Jedi training begins in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but Daisy Ridley‘s began long ago… in a studio space far, far away. A newly released behind-the-scenes video released by Lucasfilm offers fans a glimpse at the actress working alongside director Rian Johnson and the film’s stunt team to perfect her lightsaber skills.

As Johnson says, the footage spotlights Ridley’s blocking for a scene that shows Rey practicing with her staff on the Ahch-To island where she found Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). The Padawan then realizes she has Luke’s lightsaber in her satchel and switches her focus.

“Physically, I never really had to push myself that hard and stamina-wise you’re like, ‘Oh my god,’” Ridley remarks of her training regime for The Last Jedi. “It’s like a psychological thing of knowing you can do it more and more and more.”

Assistant fight coordinator Lian Yang calls the star of Star Wars a “quick learner” and says she learned everything for the scene “in an hour and a half.”

The featurette also takes a look at stunt training for John Boyega and Gwendoline Christie’s big Finn-versus-Captain Phasma fight sequence, as well as Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) giving it “so full out” with his saber and Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico) “learning different types of fighting.”

“It’s just rigorous — in a great way,” Driver notes. “And these stunt guys are very disciplined, so you can’t half-ass it.”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, picking up after the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, also returns Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Carrie Fisher alongside newcomers like Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.

The film will be released in theaters on Dec. 15 — and we’re counting down the days.