Director J.J. Abrams might have found a way to reutilize deleted footage from The Force Awakens to keep the much-missed Carrie Fisher’s General Leia in the story, but a new report is claiming that the actress’ daughter Billie Lourd stood in for her mother during a key flashback scene in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
MakingStarWars.net says they’ve been told by their sources close to the production that the upcoming Episode IX will feature a flashback sequence in its first act that harks back to the aftermath of Return of the Jedi. It’ll involve a young Luke and Leia, likely meaning Mark Hamill will reprise his role via de-aging tech while Lourd stood in for Fisher, with CGI completing the transformation in post-production. Something similar was done, of course, in Rogue One, in which Norwegian actress Ingvild Deila filled in for Fisher.
MSW then speculates – and this seems to be based on their own inferences rather than intel from sources – that the flashback could explore why Leia didn’t go on to train as a Jedi. The “scant details” currently available apparently point to the twins receiving a vision of a dark future, which they hope to avert by Leia heading into the military. MSW suggests they misinterpret what they should do, however, thereby ultimately leading to the vision coming to pass.
This explanation for the flashback sequence does sound highly plausible. After all, Abrams has said that he wants Rise to be a finale to the whole nine-movie saga, so addressing this major question that fans have would be a good idea. Besides, there’s a definite Return flavor to what we’ve seen of the film so far – the crashed Death Star possibly on Endor, the resurrection of the Emperor – and harking back to the aftermath of Episode IV would fit with that.
While it remains to be seen how much of this holds true, it certainly sounds like the secrets of the past will be revealed when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th.