Jessica Henwick, who played Jess Pava in The Force Awakens, says her character didn’t appear in The Rise of Skywalker due to scheduling conflicts.
Jessica Henwick reveals why her character of Jess Pava was cut from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The Rise of Skywalker premiered in December 2019 and rounded out the Star Wars movie sequel trilogy. The film centered on the Resistance’s ongoing fight against the First Order, and featured an A-list cast, including Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, and Adam Driver, among others.
Jess Pava was one character who appeared in The Force Awakens but not in The Rise of Skywalker. Jess is an X-wing pilot who fights alongside Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) in the Resistance. Although Jess plays a relatively small role in The Force Awakens, she quickly became a fan favorite due to her appearances in the Star Wars: Poe Dameron comic series. More specifically, Jess’ adventures in Poe Dameron include a harrowing mission to Ovanis, as well as one to the planet Megalox Beta.
In an interview with ComicBookMovie, Henwick explains that she had a scheduling conflict, which is why her character didn’t appear in The Rise of Skywalker. Although Henwick says she can’t remember what caused the conflict, she did share that she regrets not being part of the film. However, Henwick does reveal that she’s happy that Jess Pava “lives on in the comic books.” You can check out Henwick’s full statement about her scheduling difficulties below:
“I was supposed to come back for the last film, and I don’t actually remember what I was filming at the time, but I wasn’t available. It did suck because I would have loved to come back for that small piece, but as you say, she lives on in the comic books and I think there’s a couple of spinoff books as well that she’s in.”
Henwick originally auditioned for the role of Rey, where she went through a grueling, six-month audition process. While the role ultimately went to Ridley, Henwick’s star power managed to catch director J.J. Abrams’ eye. As a result, Abrams specifically created the character of Jess Pava for Henwick. Although Henwick would have certainly put her own spin on Rey’s character, it’s hard to imagine anyone but Ridley in the role. That being said, though, Henwick shone in her scenes as Jess, and helped bring an edge of fiery determination to the Resistance pilot.
While Henwick didn’t land the role of Rey, she’s appeared in plenty of other popular franchises. For instance, she not only portrayed Colleen Wing in Iron First and The Defenders, but will star in The Matrix 4 as well. All in all, some fans were disappointed that Jess Pava didn’t appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Still, Henwick’s impressive resume underscores that there will be plenty of other chances to see her in action, even if it’s not in a galaxy far, far away.