Carrie Fisher’s death has been one of the defining tragedies of the new “Star Wars” trilogy. Since 2016 when Fisher died, there’s been rampant speculation about how the films would handle Princess Leia. Based on interviews with J.J. Abrams, who is directing “Rise of Skywalker,” we know that Fisher will appear in the film.
“It felt like we suddenly had found the impossible answer to the impossible question,” the director told Vanity Fair. “It has 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.”
Of course, Fisher’s death was not part of the original plan for this trilogy of films. In fact, it sounds like quite a bit had to be changed following her death. Todd Fisher, Carrie’s brother, recently told Yahoo Entertainment that she was supposed to play a central role in the final film in this new trilogy.
“She was going to be the big payoff in the final film,” Fisher said. “She was going to be the last Jedi, so to speak. That’s cool, right?” It certainly would have been. Apparently, “Rise of Skywalker” was originally supposed to feature Leia as a full-blown Jedi, complete with force powers. Obviously, that plan has since been scrapped.
According to her brother, it was Abrams’s love and admiration for Fisher that ultimately led him to the decision to use unused footage of Fisher in this final film. They only had eight minutes of footage, but they managed to make it work with the story they were telling. If it fits in seamlessly, it will be a remarkable achievement.
No matter how well the insertion of Fisher works, though, it can’t be a substitute for the real thing. Thankfully, Abrams has decided against taking the approach that “Rogue One” used, which involved creating life-like models based on archival footage. Instead, he’s working with what he’s got.
“The Rise of Skywalker” is set to hit theaters on Dec. 20. Until then, all we can do is speculate about what the film is about. Do you think using old footage of Fisher is a good idea? Let us know in the comments below.