Carrie Fisher’s Daughter Fought To Save The Scenes With Her Mother In Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker


Everyone was taken by surprise when Lucasfilm announced that Carrie Fisher’s General Leia would indeed play a major role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Given that the actress tragically died in early 2017, we all immediately began to wonder how they’d go about this act of cinematic necromancy. The fact that we’d already seen a digital Leia in Rogue One led many to conclude that she’d be CGI, only for director J.J. Abrams to clarify that they were planning to assemble her performance from unused footage from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

Their plans met with the approval of Fisher’s surviving relatives, with many (including myself) very curious to see exactly how well this will work. But however professionally and seamlessly it’s done, there’s going to be a strange feeling when Leia reappears from beyond the grave. And I imagine those that knew her will feel that most intensely. Abrams at least seems conscious that he’s walking on very dangerous ground here, initially deciding to rewrite the scenes in which Fisher’s Leia would interact with her real-life daughter Billie Lourd, who plays Resistance Officer Lieutenant Connix.

The director recently spoke of the process in this week’s Vanity Fair feature, talking about how difficult it was to take her recorded lines and fit them into his script:

“It was a bizarre kind of left side/right side of the brain sort of Venn diagram thing, of figuring out how to create the puzzle based on the pieces we had.”

But Abrams goes on to say how Lourd approached him to argue for the scenes between her and her mother to be included in the movie, and apparently, the results are something very special:

“There are moments where they’re talking; there are moments where they’re touching. There are moments in this movie where Carrie is there, and I really do feel there is an element of the uncanny, spiritual, you know, classic Carrie, that it would have happened this way, because somehow it worked. And I never thought it would.”

While it’s reassuring to see Abrams being outright positive about the end results of this process, I’ll withhold judgment until I see the finished movie (I can’t help but think of this Simpsons clip).

What do you guys think, though? Can they pull this off? We’ll find out for certain on December 20th, but expect Leia to pop up in the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailers before then.

About the author

David James

David James

London-based writer about everything and anything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about Metal Gear Solid or Resident Evil.