Fans are going to have to emotionally prepare themselves for the late Carrie Fisher’s General Leia's scenes when Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in theaters this winter. Since Fisher’s unfortunate passing in December 2016, after going into cardiac arrest on a flight from London to Los Angeles on the European leg of her book tour, fans have wondered how her death would impact The Last Jedi and Episode IX in regards to her character's role in the films.
From previous interviews, we know that Fisher’s Princess Leia was supposed to have a major role in Episode IX, since The Force Awakens was all about Han Solo and The Last Jedi will be centered on the former Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Since Fisher passed before the process of filming Episode IX even began, it was confirmed by Lucasfilm that there are no plans to recreate Leia with CGI and that the film company had to “start over” with Episode IX. The sequel trilogy finale is undergoing even more changes now that the script is being co-written by new director J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio.
Even though the scenes Fisher filmed for The Last Jedi were never changed, there’s no doubt that her role in the film will have more of an emotional impact for Star Wars fans who have been with the saga since the original trilogy. In a new interview with the Chicago Sun Times, director Rian Johnson is teasing the “incredibly emotional” Leia scenes and how the experience is going to be a mix of emotions for Star Wars lovers:
“Having these scenes in the film recontextualize tragically with her not being here anymore, it’s incredibly emotional. For the next few months, seeing the fans … process the loss and celebrate her as Leia one last time, it’s going to be intense. I think it’s going to be really sad but really joyful, I hope. She really kicks (butt) as General Leia, and I’m happy for that.”
From what Johnson is saying, it sounds like Leia is going to have some major emotional hurdles she will be facing in the new film. For starters, she will be dealing with the aftermath of Han Solo's death at the hands of their son, Kylo Ren, who could be on a quest to end his mother's life in The Last Jedi. The trailer could certainly be serving up some misdirection, but hopefully this is a thread the film explores. There's also the relationship Leia has with her brother Luke in this film we have to consider. In The Force Awakens it's indicated that Leia hasn't seen her twin in a long time after his Jedi academy was destroyed and he fled to the remote planet Ahch-To.
We have a feeling this potential reunion is going to be intense considering how much Luke has changed since we last saw him in Return of the Jedi, when he was fearless in his attempt to save his father, Darth Vader, from the dark side. Now, in the trailer, we see Luke afraid of, presumably, Rey's raw talent and power when it comes to using the Force. This probably isn't going to fly with Leia, considering the time she spent trying to track Luke down so he can help in the Resistance, setting us up for some heartbreaking drama.
Source: Chicago Sun Times
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019