PEOPLE – Lucky for the galaxy, Daisy Ridley did not give in to her fear playing new hero Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fear, of course, is the path to the Dark Side.

“Because I hadn’t made a film before, the whole thing was scary,” Ridley says in PEOPLE’s Star Wars special issue. “I had to get over the overwhelming fear of it. That was the hardest thing.”

After all, the 23-year-old British actress went from a 15-second character in one episode of a little-seen PBS TV show, Mr. Selfridge, to a central character in the globally anticipated Star Wars sequel.

Ridley has since been prominent in The Force Awakens trailers, TV spots, posters, toys and more. Fan speculation is rampant that her character, whom Ridley has described as “solitary” but “not a princess,” is connected to the Skywalker family tree. The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has deliberately kept Rey’s full name secret until the movie’s Dec. 18 premiere.

What is known, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, is that Rey was abandoned by her family on the junkyard planet Jakku when she was only 5 years old. That’s of course much different from Ridley’s childhood.

“I actually wanted to be a zookeeper when I was 5,” she says. “I was somewhat naughty as a child. My parents found a performing-arts school, and it kept me really busy. I loved the drama classes.”

Ridley will become a galactic star when the movie premieres on Dec. 18, and she’s not afraid of that or what comes next. “I don’t have a dream role after this,” she says. “I’m just going to plod through life and see what comes my way.”

See exclusive photos, get a first look at new characters and learn more secrets from the cast and crew of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in PEOPLE’s Star Wars collector’s edition, on newsstands Dec. 9.

The cast of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ covers another magazine for December and this time it is for Rolling Stone Mexico. Scans have been added to the gallery!

Magazine Scans > 2015 > Rolling Stone Mexico (December)

Added digital scans of the december issue of Cinemanía (spain) magazine. Enjoy!

Magazine Scans > 2015 > Cinemanía (December)

Thanks again to our friend at Glorious Gwendoline and Harrison Ford Online for the ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ related scans. You can now find in our gallery digital scans from Augut Man (December), Best Movie (December), Deadline (Issue #54) and TV&Satellite (December 5) magazines with a bonus of two unseen pictures of Daisy!

Magazine Scans > 2015 > August Man (December)
Magazine Scans > 2015 > Best Movie (December)
Magazine Scans > 2015 > Deadline (Issue #54)
Magazine Scans > 2015 > TV&Satellite (December 5)

Thanks to Emily, digital scans of the January 2016 issue of Empire magazine with Rey on the cover have been added to the gallery. Enjoy!

Magazine Scans > 2016 > Empire (January)

I’ve updated the gallery with ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ related magazine scans, including Studio Ciné Live (N°30), Ciak (November), Fotogramas (December) and Starburst (December) magazines. Thanks to AliKat for the donation.

Magazine Scans > 2015 > Studio Ciné Live (Issue #30)
Magazine Scans > 2015 > Ciak (November)
Magazine Scans > 2015 > Fotogramas (December)
Magazine Scans > 2015 > Starburst (December)