Not only will fans be saying goodbye to the ‘Star Wars’ franchise with the release of ‘The Rise of Skywalker’, but to franchise star Carrie Fisher, who passed away suddenly in 2016. Director J.J. Abrams constructed a final performance for General Leia with archival footage that was unused for ‘The Force Awakens’. But obviously, that was somewhat limiting, and as Fisher’s brother Todd reveals, Leia would have had a much larger role had Carrie survived to film the role the way it had originally been written. And it’s safe to say that fans would have gone crazy!
Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment, Todd Fisher said:
“She was going to be the big payoff in the final film. She was going to be the last Jedi, so to speak. That’s cool right? People used to say to me, ‘Why is it that Carrie never gets a lightsaber and chops up some bad guys?’ Obi-Wan was in his prime when he was Carrie’s age!”
So despite ‘The Last Jedi’ being used as the title of the eighth movie, that was a title that would have taken on new meaning in the ninth, with Leia becoming a full-fledged Jedi Knight, complete with her own lightsabre! In the first three pictures, Leia didn’t exhibit any Force affinity, outside of a bit of intuition that she seemed to possess. But in ‘The Last Jedi’, she uses the Force to save herself after being blown into outer space after an attack from the First Order. It seems that she would have taken things even further in the final film.
This would have definitely been a crowd-pleasing moment, but it’s a little questionable that she would be a full-on Jedi without all the rigorous training, Luke, Anakin, etc. went through.
We don’t yet know how large a role Leia will have in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’, but if Todd Fisher is talking about these plans, it’s safe to say that Abrams was forced to take a different path.
“The truth is that J.J. Abrams was great friends with Carrie… he had an extraordinary sense of love for her. They had eight minutes of footage. They grabbed every frame and analyzed it… and then reverse-engineered it and [got] it into the story the right way. It’s kind of magical.”
‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ opens in theaters on December 20th.