There’s no escaping it – the death of Carrie Fisher is a loss that will be felt deeply by large swathes of Star Wars fans for as long as Disney makes new films set in that galaxy far, far away. Indeed, it’s the ongoing rebooted franchise that makes her sudden absence so keenly felt by so many people. For the time being, this weight is being shouldered for the most part by director Rian Johnson who, by virtue of nothing more than tragic circumstance, finds himself at the helm of Leia Organa’s last movie – Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Organa – once a Princess, now a General – is a legend of cinema, and an icon of Star Wars lore. She’s a talisman held closely by generations of audience members, and she’s one of the core team members from the very beginning of George Lucas’ Star Wars adventure, four decades ago. The prequels – 1999’s The Phantom Menace, 2002’s Attack Of The Clones, and 2005’s Revenge Of The Sith – struggled greatly without her, and there was an almost tangible relief within the fandom when the closing act of that third movie featured the birth of the infant Leia. A computer enhanced, teen version of the character was also included at the end of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – and it proved to be one of the most thrilling cameo appearances.
But, General Leia arrived and took charge of the situation in Star Wars: The Force Awakens – revealing her personal, familial woes in the process – and we were suddenly assured that this beloved leader of the resistance would not only play a more significant role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but that the chapter due to follow it – Colin Trevorrow’s Star Wars: Episode IX – would be essentially centred on Leia. Now, instead, we’re faced with the prospect of heading into The Last Jedi in the knowledge that we’ll be saying goodbye to her.
For his part – as custodian of Carrie Fisher’s final performance as General Organa – Rian Johnson is convinced of its power. Speaking to Good Morning America at the Disney Expo event, D23, Johnson explained that, in hindsight, The Last Jedi may not conclude her story arc in a way that we would expect – had the filmmakers known that this would be her final appearance – but it will provide some much needed catharsis.
“Carrie gives a really beautiful performance in the film. We obviously didn’t make the movie to be her final Star Wars movie. Given that though, I think there are scenes that she has that are going to mean a lot to people and there are scenes that we have with her where now not having her around I watch them and I think I’m really thankful that we have that and we can give that to people. So “wraps up nicely,” I don’t know but it emotionally gives some kind of catharsis I guess, gives some kind of emotional satisfaction, I really think so, I hope so. I know for me it does.”
The idea of leaving Star Wars: The Last Jedi feeling emotionally satisfied about the fate of General Leia Organa is of immense comfort – not least because we know that Star Wars: Episode IX was altered at the writing stage to account for her unexpected loss. We still have time to steel ourselves for those final scenes, too, as the film won’t be with us until December 15th, at which point it’ll also bring us a fitting tribute to the actress during the end credits.
Source: Screen Rant