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This week, Daisy Ridley is about to take her first step into a larger world. Some might say that she already did that when she first stepped onto the set of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS last year (working with Chewbacca on her first day, no less), but the real challenge for the young actress will no doubt begin when the long-awaited STAR WARS sequel arrives in theaters this Friday. Sitting down with Ridley at the STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Global Press Event in Los Angeles last week, it was hard not to be enamored by the youthful enthusiasm, charm and beauty of a performer that's on the cusp of being a household name. As Rey in J.J. Abrams' SW relaunch, Ridley finds herself at the center of one of the most stealthy marketing campaigns in modern cinema - despite her face, and the words "STAR WARS" being everywhere, there isn't much that's been officially revealed about her character or plot until now.... or has it? With the World Premiere of THE FORCE AWAKENS taking place tonight in Los Angeles, the first audience will get to see exactly what Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy meant when she said, "I'm gonna tell you that your daughters are gonna be so excited. This character of Rey is, I think, one of the most wonderful heroines to come along in movie history. So I think they're gonna be very happy. They're gonna have their own Luke Skywalker now." Is The Force strong with this one?

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To say that my most recent visit to Los Angeles was "surreal" would border on understatement - stepping into a world that just a few years ago none would've expected, nor believed. Going back even further, the small child that still resides housed in this now 39-year-old body would never understand the weight or gravitas of the situation - STAR WARS is back, and aside from the original era of 1977-1983, there's been no better time to be a STAR WARS fan than now. The Force is strong in our family, my wife and I sharing our love of "a galaxy far, far away" with our daughters - our children finding themselves enchanted with the very stories we grew up on, but now with new tales that we can experience together... for the very first time. Sixteen years had passed between the release of RETURN OF THE JEDI in 1983 and the debut of THE PHANTOM MENACE in 1999... "the dark times" bridging the gap between the end of the "Original Trilogy" and the start of the "Prequel Trilogy." Now, in 2015, another sixteen years have passed and we've arrived on the cusp of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, the start of a new Trilogy - but one that unlike its predecessors, will be punctuated by standalone "Star Wars Stories" in between. This week, a little boy that spent countless hours immersed in a world of Kenner STAR WARS action figures nearly 40 years ago would be invited by Disney to take a step into a larger world - the Global Press Event for the launch of THE FORCE AWAKENS... a film directed by another little boy (J.J. Abrams), who's now grown-up and and has taken those toys to help relaunch the Saga for new generations of families to enjoy for a long, long time to come...

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How did I get here? There was a moment of pause that was punctuated with misty eyes as I looked over an itinerary placing me in the same room - and the same table - with actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o and filmmaker J.J. Abrams. What really took a moment to sink in was the other name present - Harrison Ford. This is a man who was there the first time around - when STAR WARS was a new thing, and a little boy named "Jimmy" would spend countless hours having adventures with Ford's dashing smuggler, Han Solo in Kenner action figure form. It was STAR WARS that inspired me to try my hand at working in film and television, and here we are on the cusp of a new film that continues the original saga, with STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS hitting theaters on December 18th... and I've been invited to Los Angeles to cover the Global Media Days! While The Force is strong with this adventure, my journey to a galaxy far, far away is just one piece of the puzzle that includes projects from Disney, Lucasfilm, Marvel and ABC...

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The Force was with JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE last night, as the show drew its 4th-biggest-ever Monday night audience with appearances by the cast of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. Jimmy welcomed Director J.J. Abrams and castmembers Harrison Ford with Chewbacca, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega and R2D2. ABC will re-air JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE: THE STAR WARS SPECIAL in primetime on Wednesday, November 25, at 10:00|9:00 CT on ABC. Check out a clip below...

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Let the conspiracy theories begin as to why Mark Hamill is absent (patience, Young Jedi - all will be revealed on December 18) as five Character Posters for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS have arrived. Today we get some nice highlights of Finn (John Boyega), Rey (Daisy Ridley), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), each thematically displaying their signature weapon. To see these in high-res, visit THE ROCK FATHER Magazine on Facebook.

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