黛西·蕾德莉（Disney Infinity 3.0，|
Screenwriter 麦可·阿恩特 said that he found Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy's offer to write the Star Wars sequel trilogy daunting in mid-2012, but he became interested when it was explained to him that the tale was about the origin story of a female Jedi and he met with 乔治·卢卡斯. The character was a young woman known as Kira in the early stages of production, and 阿恩特 described her as a "loner, hothead, gear-head, badass". 阿恩特 said that he struggled with introducing the young woman as the main character in his story while keeping her from being overshadowed after her early meeting with the Luke Skywalker character. Ridley recalled that director and writer J·J·艾布拉姆斯 originally intended to name the character "Keera", however during filming in 阿布扎比, 艾布拉姆斯 revealed to Ridley that he was thinking of going with "Rey".
On creating a female lead for the new trilogy, 艾布拉姆斯 stated that from his initial discussions with writer 劳伦斯·卡斯丹, he was excited at the concept of having a woman at the center of the story. He said that "We always wanted to write Rey as the central character" and that other female representation in the story was also important. 肯尼迪 stated that, "Rey is the new generation's Luke Skywalker." Rey's background as a scavenger was part of the developers attempting to portray her as "the ultimate outsider and the ultimate disenfranchised person", due to their belief that a person of that nature would likely experience a prolonged journey compared to other types of people.
Daisy Ridley was largely unknown before being cast for the role of Rey. Ridley said that she auditioned many times for the role over the course of seven months and had to keep her casting a secret for three months. She was announced as part of the cast at the end of April 2014. She only had experience with small parts in TV shows. Her inexperience and lack of exposure were a crucial part of what convinced 艾布拉姆斯 to give Ridley the role, as the previous installments had featured relatively unknown talent that would not experience heightened degrees of scrutiny. 艾布拉姆斯 stated that Ridley "was so funny and had a great spark", as well as having her act out an emotional scene, proclaiming that "she nailed it on the first take." 艾布拉姆斯 would go on to praise Ridley, stating "She was born with this gift to be in a moment and make it her own. She simultaneously works from the inside out and the outside in." 肯尼迪 proclaimed "Daisy had a physicality and a self-confidence that was so important to the character we were looking for. She epitomizes that optimism where anything is possible." Director Dusan Lazarevic, who was present at the casting of Ridley for a role in British drama series Silent Witness, in addition to praising her acting range, stated "She showed a combination of vulnerability and strength which gave her a complexity, and there was an intelligence in her eyes that was an indicator she could play quite a complicated part." Cailey Fleming was additionally cast to portray a young Rey.
Although Ridley expressed that she was "riddled with doubts and insecurities", she stated that Rey's hopefulness is what she related to most in Rey, going on to say it "was something driving me through the auditions—even though it felt so insanely out of anything that I could've imagined." Ridley recalled her shooting experience as starting off bumpy, with 艾布拉姆斯 telling her that her first few takes were "wooden". However, Ridley and 艾布拉姆斯 had an "incredibly collaborative" process with creating Rey; Ridley recalled that the character "changed from when we first began, she became softer. And I think that's probably me, because Americans tend not to understand me, so it helped, slowing down the speech and everything just made it softer than I am." On her character, Ridley has stated that Rey will have "some impact in a girl power-y way", adding that the character "doesn't have to be one thing to embody a woman in a film. It just so happens she's a woman but she transcends gender. She's going to speak to men and women." In an interview with Elle, Ridley would continue describing her character, "She's so strong. She's cool and smart and she can look after herself," adding "Young girls can look at her and know that they can wear trousers if they want to. That they don't have to show off their bodies."