Carrie Fisher’s Brother Reveals Leia Was Supposed to Be ‘The Last Jedi’ in “Rise of Skywalker“. During an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment (UK), Carrie Fisher’s brother, Todd Fisher, shared new details about the role his late sister was meant to play in the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Star Wars fans were shocked to hear of Carrie Fisher’s sudden passing in December 2016 after she suffered a heart attack while traveling for the holidays. In even more shocking news, her own mother, Debbie Reynolds, passed away merely a day after her daughters death, presumably due to the stress and heartbreak of her daughters passing.
Their family has remained gracious and respectful since Fisher’s passing, but have recently opened up about their experiences with Carrie, and how plans for Fisher’s upcoming project, The Rise of Skywalker, had to go in a different direction than what they had hoped for, to remain respectful of the late actress and still satisfy fans with a climatic and well deserved ending to the Skywalker Saga.
Carrie’s brother, Todd, and her daughter, Billie Lourd, have spoken fondly of Carrie, with Billie even standing in for her mother during various events since her passing. Todd recently shared that the plan for General Leia Organa had been more intricate than fans realized and revealed that it was in fact, Leia, not Luke, who was meant to be “The Last Jedi”, and that this story was meant to be a huge reveal in Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.
“She was going to be the big payoff in the final film,” Todd Fisher shared with Yahoo Entertainment. “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,’” Fisher even noted that Alec Guinness was roughly the same age when Obi-Wan Kenobi battled Darth Vader in A New Hope. “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,” her brother share. It was for that reason that Abrams decided to make a bold, and creatively risky decision: to take unused footage of Fisher as Leia from The Force Awakens and make it part of The Rise of Skywalker.
Carrie’s daughter, Billie Lourd, took on a mountain of responsibilities and refers to herself as “the keeper of Leia.” She goes on the share her story in an essay with Time, to read the whole essay, CLICK HERE. (It’s worth the read!)
“My mom died on Dec. 27, 2016. Two days after Christmas, four days before New Year’s and about a year before she was supposed to appear in her final Star Wars film. Losing my mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I lost my best friend. My little lady in the TV. My Momby. And I inherited this weird, intimidating thing called her legacy. Suddenly I was in charge of what would come of her books, her movies and a bunch of other overwhelming things. I was now the keeper of Leia.”
Billie goes on to share, “About a year later, J.J. called me into his office to talk about the plans for Leia. We both agreed she was too important to be written off in the classic Star Wars introductory scroll. This last movie was supposed to be Leia’s movie, and we wanted it to remain that, as much as possible. What I hadn’t known–and what J.J. told me that day –was that there was footage of my mom that they had collected over the years that hadn’t made it into the movies, footage that J.J. told me would be enough to write an entire movie around. It was like she had left us a gift that would allow Leia’s story to be completed. I was speechless.”
She continued, “J.J. asked me if I would want to come back as Lieutenant Connix. I knew it would be one of the most painful, difficult things I would ever do, but I said yes for her–for my mom. For Leia. For everyone Leia means so much to. For everyone Leia gives strength to. For my future kids, so someday they’ll have one more movie to watch that Mommy and Grandma were in together.”
Carrie’s brother also shared just how much footage was left to use and it is a miracle that J.J. and Lucasfilm were able to piece Carrie’s final performance together.
“They had eight minutes of footage,” Todd shared. “They grabbed every frame and analysed it… and then reverse-engineered it and [got] it into the story the right way. It’s kind of magical.”
Fisher also went on to say he is not sure how Abrams worked his magic, but that ultimately, he believes this is what Carrie would want for fans, and he hopes it not only gives closure to her character, but also a kind of closure to fans.
“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.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres in theaters December 20, 2019. You can order tickets now via Fandango.com, AMCtheatres.com, preferred theater mobile app, or at a theater box office window near you.
Are you excited to see the epic finale of the Skywalker Saga? Will you be seeing The Rise of Skywalker on opening weekend? What other Star Wars projects are you excited to see coming to theaters and Disney+? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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Featured Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
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