Star Wars: The Force Awakens' New Female Character is 'Extremely Significant', Says Producer

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Daisy Ridley and John Boyega in the forthcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens Photograph: Allstar/Disney/Lucasfilm

Kathleen Kennedy, the producer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has said that a new female character will be "extremley significant" to its plot in a recent interview in which she called on the film industry to do more to promote women.

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At the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, Kennedy told the Guardian that Rey would be "extremely significant" but refused to reveal more details, insisting: "I don't want to spoil the story."

The Lucasfilm president's comments are likely to ignite speculation that Rey, played by the 23-year-old English actress Daisy Ridley, is a child of the Skywalker family and therefore a key character in the upcoming films. Star Wars fans have already speculated that Rey is the daughter of either Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia. The character's ancestry has been called "one of the biggest mysteries" surrounding The Force Awakens.

Kennedy also praised the saga's creator, George Lucas, for creating Princess Leia – "a pretty revolutionary character at the time". Disney, who bought Lucasfilm from its founder after he had chosen Kennedy, had also been very supportive. "We could have been pushing a giant boulder uphill if Disney didn't support us," she said.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will hit theaters on December 18. So why do you think Rey is "extremely important"? Do you think she's a Skywalker?