Carrie Fisher's brother has revealed new details about director J.J. Abrams' original plans for Princess Leia in the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker. When Fisher passed away, Hollywood lost a genuine icon who inspired generations of Star War fans with her wit, talent, and honesty. Her death also left a Princess Leia-sized hole in the beloved franchise, which was forced to rework the final movie's plot.
When Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker is released later this year, it will close out the latest trilogy set in the universe far, far away. Abrams has used archival footage to work around Fisher's death, but her absence will be very noticeable after her major role in The Last Jedi. In tribute to Fisher's central place in the Star Wars legacy, the actress will receive top billing in the next movie.
Now, Fisher's brother Todd has offered insight into Princess Leia's original role in The Rise Of Skywalker. Todd Fisher told Yahoo that she was originally going to become "the last Jedi" referred to by Episode IX. Not only that, but fans may have finally been able to see Leia wield a lightsaber as she finally became a true Jedi master in the final film. Leia did briefly use the force early in The Last Jedi, but now fans will have to wonder about the central role she would have played in The Rise of Skywalker. Speaking to Yahoo, Todd Fisher also explained how Abrams instead used eight minutes of footage to reverse engineer Leia's final appearances in the new Star Wars trilogy. Fans may never get to see the beloved princess-turned-general take up a lightsaber, but Todd Fisher believes his sister does receive a fitting tribute in the movie nonetheless.
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!
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. This is, in its own way, a payoff... It’s Carrie talking to us all from beyond. The beautiful thing about the concept of the Force is that there is no real death; you just exist in another dimension.
Star Wars movies and TV shows have featured many memorable lightsaber duels over the decades, but Leia's true potential as a powerful force-wielder was only really explored in expanded universe novels. Those stories were famously wiped from the canon when Disney decided to move forward with the new trilogy. As a result, many of Leia's admirers feel the princess-general was never given her proper due as a Skywalker.
Instead, Rey has emerged as the female Jedi many Star Wars movie fans have been waiting for. The trailers for Rise of Skywalker tease more epic lightsaber battles to come, including at least one duel between Kylo Ren and Rey in the midst of Death Star debris. If Leia originally had a role in these upcoming action scenes, fans will never get to see it. That's why the third movie in the new trilogy will be a very bittersweet experience for countless Princess Leia fans. The Rise Of Skywalker will be released on December 20, 2019, minus one very important Jedi.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019