As we’ve heard previously, Disney and Lucasfilm’s plan for the Original Trilogy heroes of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa was for each to come to the forefront in a different chapter of the Sequel Trilogy – Harrison Ford’s Han in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mark Hamill’s Luke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Carrie Fisher’s Leia in Star Wars: Episode IX (now titled Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker).
Sadly, the passing of Carrie Fisher in 2016 means that fans will never get to see these plans unfold as originally intended, although Leia – and Carrie – are still set to feature in The Rise of Skywalker thanks to digital trickery and unused footage from the first two movies.
Speaking to Yahoo, Carrie’s brother Todd Fisher has revealed some details on these original plans, and her inclusion in the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga.
“She was going to be the big payoff in the final film,” said Fisher. “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,” he continues. “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. 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.”
Let’s hope that The Rise of Skywalker serves as a fitting tribute, both to the iconic character and the beloved actress who brought the Rebel princess to life…
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set for release on December 19th 2019 in the UK and December 20th 2019 in North America. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker sees J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) directing a cast that includes Star Wars veterans Daisy Ridley (Rey), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix), Greg Grunberg (Snap Wexley), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) and Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa) as well as new additions Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth), Richard E. Grant (Logan), Dominic Monaghan (Lost), and Keri Russell (The Americans).