For all its perceived faults and shortcomings, Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi actually had several decent scenes that have gone down as some of the most emotional moments in the entire Skywalker Saga.
Namely, Leia and Luke’s reunion in the movie’s climactic sequence is still unbearably tearjerking to watch. After all, Carrie Fisher’s tragic passing in 2016 made it difficult for the producers at Lucasfilm to give her a prominent role in the last pic and even Johnson had to forsake any revamps or edits to the script as a result of this incident. Though if there’s anything that even the Sequel Trilogy’s most avid haters can agree on, it’s that he and J.J. Abrams did everything in their power to conclude Leia’s story as seamlessly as the available footage allowed. And the result, while inevitably lacking emotional depth in certain areas, is both commendable and fulfilling.
If the legendary thespian was still alive, though, she would have turned 64 in a few days and to commemorate her and her birthday, Rian Johnson recently shared a rare photo of the actress as part of a series of polaroids he found among his Last Jedi notes.
“Closet cleaning, found my Last Jedi writing notebooks. Such a trip flipping through them. Bonus: a few polaroids stuck in the pages,” he wrote in the caption.
Narrative-wise, Carrie Fisher had a huge impact on all three movies in the Sequel Trilogy. Granted, she had the most substantial part in Star Wars: The Last Jedi in terms of screen time, but it was her sacrifice in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that once again foiled Palpatine’s plan and turned Kylo Ren from the dark side, ultimately leading to Sidious and the Empire’s defeat at the hands of the Rebels, once and for all.
The galaxy far, far away may have lost its princess, but the memory of Carrie Fisher still lives on in every piece of Star Wars media that bears her character’s name.