Any fan of the Star Wars franchise was shaken up with the sudden and tragic loss of Carrie Fisher last year and the latest Vanity Fair piece has the cast and crew talking about working with her and a bit of what her future held in the films. We already knew that ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ had to be changed as she played a major part in the movie but now we’ve learned a bit about exactly how critical she was to the movie. While ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ centered around Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘ will follow Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker it was to be the next installment which had Leia truly shine.
According to Kathleen Kennedy as soon as Fisher completed her work on the upcoming film “The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ […] She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been.” This news is going to be crushing to fans as with no matter how much screen time she does end up getting it will mean that the actual meat and potatoes of letting Fisher’s work shine will never be seen.
With the final film of the current trilogy no longer having her as the focus we know that the studio had to scramble to adequately prepare for the future though it is still unclear how much will have changed.
While we can’t look to the future for her work past ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ we can look to the past in how she worked with her co-stars on filming it. According to John Boyega when he was talking to her about the racism he dealt with from being cast that her response was golden:
“I remember—and forgive me, I’m going to drop the f-bomb, but that’s just Carrie—she said, ‘Ah, boohoo, who fuckin’ cares? You just do you,’ ” he said. “Words like that give you strength. I bore witness in a million ways to her sharing her wisdom with Daisy [Ridley] too.”
Speaking of Ridley, she was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the role, and Fisher helped there as well:
“Carrie lived her life the way she wanted to, never apologizing for anything, which is something I’m still learning. ‘Embarrassed’ is the wrong word, but there were times through it all when I felt like I was … shrinking. And she told me never to shrink away from it—that it should be enjoyed.”
My favorite quote comes from Oscar Isaac though who she had a prominent scene with and I do hope they include some of the outtakes on the eventual special edition:
“We did this scene where Carrie has to slap me. I think we did 27 takes in all, and Carrie leaned into it every time, man. She loved hitting me. Rian found such a wonderful way of working with her, and I think she really relished it.”
Seriously, LucasFilm, please put together a compilation of all of these slaps when we eventually get a home release!
Now, director Rian Johnson also talked about working with Fisher and the friendship which had evolved:
“After I had a draft, I would sit down with her when I was working on re-writing. Sitting with her on her bed, in her insane bedroom with all this crazy modern art around us, TCM on the TV, a constant stream of Coca-Cola, and Gary the dog slobbering at her feet.
Out of everyone, Carrie was the one I really became friends with and expected to have in my life for years and years. I last saw her in November, at the birthday party that she threw at her house. In a way, it was the perfect final, encapsulating image of Carrie—receiving all her friends in the bedroom, with Debbie holding court in the living room.”
Fans will always fondly remember her work on the franchise, but her costars all lost not just a friend but in many cases a mentor as well.
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!