When The Rise of Skywalker is released in December, it won’t just conclude the current Star Wars trilogy — it will also bring closure to characters and plot threads that were first introduced with the very first move in 1977. Each installment in this new trilogy has taken the time to bid farewell to a member of the original cast, first with Han Solo in The Force Awakens, then with original protagonist Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi. The plan was for the final movie to give Leia Organa a similarly integral storyline — but then Carrie Fisher, who had played her for four decades, sadly passed away before filming began.
Todd Fisher, the late actress’ brother, has revealed how filmmakers scrapped their plans for Leia’s original storyline and came up with a new, satisfying ending for the character based on existing footage from previous movies.
“She was going to be the big payoff in the final film,” he said. “She was going to be the last Jedi, so to speak. That’s cool right?” He went on to tell Yahoo Entertainment that it was high time that Leia got to wield a lightsaber and use her Jedi powers, which remained largely unexplored (save for a single sequence in The Last Jedi). “Why is it that Carrie never gets a lightsaber and chops up some bad guys?” He said. “Obi-Wan was in his prime when he was Carrie’s age!”
While fans will sadly never get to see Leia’s final evolution from Princess to General to Jedi Master, Fisher revealed that he was touched by the way the filmmakers paid homage to his sister.
“The truth is that JJ Abrams was great friends with Carrie…he had an extraordinary sense of love for her,” he said. “They had eight minutes of footage. They grabbed every frame and analyzed it and then reverse-engineered it and [got] it into the story the right way. It’s kind of magical.”
“This is, in its own way, a payoff,” he continued. “It’s Carrie talking to us all from beyond. The beautiful thing about the concept of the Force is that there is no real death; you just exist in another dimension. So Carrie is looking down or sideways or wherever and is still part of us. To be able to see that — it’s magical stuff only in the movies.”
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