Star Wars: Daisy Ridley Shares the Difficulties of Wielding a Lightsaber for 'The Last Jedi'

The latest trailer for The Last Jedi shows off just how well Daisy Ridley's Rey can swing a lightsaber, but according to the actress herself, that feat is easier said than done. If the weight of the lightsaber's hilt isn't unwieldy enough, Ridley shared she had to undergo special conditioning to get the moves just right.

“They’re really heavy,” Daisy Ridley told Vogue of the prop. “Three, four, five kilos? And the weight’s very unevenly distributed.”

After growing accustomed to the weight and balance of the Jedi weapon, she still couldn't swing it around willy-nilly for her scenes.

“You do, like, eight thwacks one way, eight the other, eight up, eight down,” Ridley revealed of her preparation. Given the strenuous physical exertion required, the actress even joked about offering the training regimen as a way to get in shape, referring to it as "Lightsaber school."

Lightsabers are one of the most iconic weapons in all of fiction, grabbing hold of the general public's fascination since they first debuted in 1977. In the original Star Wars, they were used sparingly and referred to as "elegant," as we saw Obi-Wan Kenobi go head-to-head with Darth Vader. In virtually all subsequent films featuring the weapon, lightsaber duels are some of the most exciting action sequences of the saga.

Ridley isn't the only one who faced difficulties training with the lightsaber, as actor Hayden Christensen revealed earlier this year he struggled with a mental battle when filming scenes with the weapon.

"I will share with you one of my challenges," the actor told the audience at a Star Wars Celebration panel. "I had sort of been conditioned, from a very young age, to make the sound effect when I'm swinging a lightsaber. I know this is something maybe Ewan [McGregor] struggled with a little bit, too, but it was a difficult habit to break."

The actor recalled the times director George Lucas had to intervene in the matter.

"I remember, on a couple of occasions, you would come over after we had filmed a fight scene, and in a very encouraging way, you'd say, 'Hayden, that looks really great, but I can see your mouth moving,'" the actor joked. "'You don't have to do that, we add the sound effects in afterward.' I was just so focused that I didn't know where I was doing it. Still, to this day, I pick up a lightsaber, and I can't help it. It just happens."

The Last Jedi lands in theaters on December 15.

[H/T Vogue]

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