Damon Lindelof’s ‘Star Wars’ Film Would’ve Featured An Elderly Rey With Helen Mirren Eyed For Lead Role

Even though Damon Lindelof has been off of his Star Wars movie for weeks, there’s still a lot of talk about what might’ve been. That’s because it was recently learned that Lindelof was fired from the project, which ultimately went to director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and writer Steven Knight.  That movie was confirmed at Star Wars Celebration to be set 15 years after The Rise of Skywalker, and feature the return of Daisy Ridley as Rey.

But it turns out that Lindelof’s version, the one that got him canned, would’ve taken place 60 years post-Skywalker Saga and center on an elderly Rey. Similar to her mentor Luke Skywalker, Rey would take it upon herself to train two new Jedi, training a male and female Jedi, both played by Black leads.

In what could’ve been wild if it ever came true, Lindelof reportedly wanted Helen Mirren to play this older Rey, rather than using VFX to age-up Ridley. Now, Mirren was never approached for the role but that was the model idea that Lindelof apparently had. I have to say, it sounds pretty awesome to me in theory. I’m just not sure I want to see a story about old Rey at all.

The news comes from Jeff Sneider on the John Rocha podcast, so take it with a grain of salt. He adds that the Black actor who recently left the current version of the project was not rumored star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II.

None of this matters, anyway. Lindelof is gone, and Lucasfilm clearly does not want to move that far ahead from the Skywalker Saga, or that deep into Rey’s story. There are a lot of important stories to tell about younger Rey at the height of her Force powers.


Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.