Since Carrie Fisher’s untimely death in December 2016, Lucasfilm has found ways to maintain her presence throughout the remainder of the main Star Wars arc, fashioning a new purpose out of film trimmings and CGI. The ninth and final installment, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, will include eight minutes of previously unused footage, however the original plan for Leia was obviously different... and pretty intense. Carrie’s brother Todd recently did an interview with Yahoo Entertainment where he revealed that Leia was originally poised to emerge as the last Jedi. “She was going to be the big payoff in the final film,” Fisher revealed. “She was going to be the last Jedi, so to speak. That’s cool right?”
While a particularly breathtaking scene in The Last Jedi hinted towards Leia’s ability to invoke The Force, The Rise Of Skywalker would have equipped her with a lightsaber and shown the full scope of her abilities.“People used to say to me, ‘Why is it that Carrie never gets a lightsaber and chops up some bad guys,’” Fisher said. “Obi-Wan was in his prime when he was Carrie’s age!”
Though we’ll never get to see the originally intended payoff in all it’s glory, Fisher assures fans that J.J. Abrams, who “had an extraordinary sense of love for her,” has diligently “reverse-engineered” Carrie’s existing footage in order to find the most fitting sendoff for both the Leia and the actress who made her such a cultural necessity: “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. So Carrie is looking down or sideways or wherever and is still part of us. To be able to see that—it’s magical stuff only in the movies.”
Fans will get to see Leia’s final bow when Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker will arrive in theaters December 20.