The Star Wars sequel trilogy included a storytelling device that was seldom used in the movies that preceded it, flashbacks. All three of the films, used them to illustrate key background moments that hadn't been seen on screen before and giving fans some answers about what happened between 1983's Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and its 2015 sequel, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The conclusion to the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, delivered something fans have been eager to see for decades though, showing off Luke training Leia in the ways of The Force and as a Jedi. Creating this key moment took a lot of work on the part of Industrial Light and Magic, with visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett detailing the process and its surprising hurdles in a new interview.
"Pretty much every Carrie face that you see in the movie, it's really her taken from another movie," Guyett told Discussing Film. "When we get the legacy thing and I think even Rogue One had the same problem, there is actually very little footage available to you from the older movies that has not been seen before. George in the early movies was very much run and gun. They didn't do a lot of takes and didn't have to shoot other things that were not in the movie. It's fascinating to go back and look at all the outtakes and footage that hasn't been used. The other problem, of course, is that this was a long time ago. So, a lot of it was lost."
"We were really limited on both Carrie and Mark Hamill," he added. "We had to literally design that shot where you see them lift up their helmets after fighting in the jungle around two images. I think we literally had the choice of maybe one or two choices. It was so limited but also fascinating. We designed the shot spatially around the perspective of those angles and lighting that we had for those moments. That was the other problem we had – if you find one interior shot for one of the characters, of course, you have to find an interior shot for the other character. It really made it a kind of huge puzzle to solve. It is hundreds and hundreds of hours spent going through material and trying to find moments that you think might work for the movie."
In the end, the scene became one of the bright spots of the film, illuminating a time in the Star Wars canon that hasn't been explored since Disney acquired Lucasfilm and giving fans answers about what kind of Jedi Leia would have been.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is available now on 4K, blu-ray, DVD, and Digital-HD.