Kelly Marie Tran, an actress in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, has discussed the process around filming those new Leia scenes featuring the late Carrie Fisher.
Now that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out in cinemas, we have been able to see how J.J. Abrams was able to include Carrie Fisher’s character Leia, despite the fact that the actress is no longer with us.
Cleverly using unused footage from past films, Leia was placed into new scenes with characters from Episode IX, seemingly having new conversations important to the plot. Revealing just how tricky this was, actress Kelly Marie Tran told THR:
“The one thing that was difficult was that you were acting with footage that was prerecorded. So, instead of having an actor there and reacting off the actor, you would sometimes look — in between takes — at how the actor delivered a line and then try to imagine and react to that. So, it definitely took more time and was a very different experience for me. We probably did a lot more takes for scenes with her than without her.
“It’s one thing to sit there, look at that footage and try to react to it, but a lot of the big group scenes felt like they were puzzle pieces if that makes sense. I think there were more reshoots on those scenes, specifically, to just try and make sure all of the performances matched up since she [Carrie Fisher] wasn’t physically there.”
Well, all the hard work certainly paid off. Fisher and her iconic character Leia were given a top send-off. It’s truly remarkable they were able to do much of anything at all, let alone make Leia’s actions integral to Episode IX’s plot.
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).