3. Rey, Qi’ra (Jessica Henwick)
You may recognize Jessica Henwick in her role as X-Wing pilot Jessika Pava in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a character which became a fan favorite despite her limited screentime. But did you know she auditioned for the role of Rey? Before Daisy Ridley was chosen to portray the character, Henwick was also a front runner to bring Rey to life.
In an interview, Henwick discussed the six-month audition process which culminated in director J.J. Abrams offering to write her a small role, despite not booking the starring role. In the interview, Henwick stated that she “was a mess at the end of those six months.” She also expressed interest to have Jessika return for The Rise of Skywalker, but she was not included in the final film.
Allegedly, a few years after her audition for Rey, Henwick was also in the running to play Qi’ra in Solo: A Star Wars Story, but fellow Game of Thrones alum Emilia Clarke won the role.
Had Henwick been chosen to play Rey, it would have been a major win for diversity in the Star Wars universe. Something that fans frequently discuss when reflecting on this “almost” moment in the franchise.