Star Wars: Warwick Davis Reflects on Shooting The Rise of Skywalker Without Carrie Fisher

The culmination of the Skywalker Saga brought back a number of figures from the history of Star Wars, but one figure who was missing from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was Carrie Fisher, who passed away back in 2016. Warwick Davis, who debuted in the franchise as Wicket in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, returned for a small part in the latest film, with the actor recently detailing what it was like to be involved in a new film that was absent of Fisher's presence. Given that Wicket's story is intrinsically linked with Leia in his initial outing, Fisher left a major impact on the actor.

“It was ever so sad, it was always on our minds on set that Carrie wasn’t with us and she was such a life force as well," Davis shared with Digital Spy. "She was funny and she adored the fans of the films as well, she was one of these actors that embraced the fans of Star Wars, especially on stage.”

He added, "I had the pleasure of interviewing Carrie on a number of occasions for Star Wars Celebrations and she was always so fantastic, so open and willing to take part in whatever shenanigans I had in mind, and just deliver for the fans.”

Despite Fisher having passed, the film did find ways to honor the actress' legacy. Understandably, Leia's narrative trajectory had to be altered, given that the production was forced to repurpose existing footage, but one of the more surprising moments was a scene in which a young Leia was being trained by a young Luke. For this sequence, Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd served as a stand-in for her mother, while digital effects were used to replace Lourd's face with footage from Return of the Jedi.

"We also had access to the dailies from the original trilogy, and in the flashback of Luke and Leia, that image of Carrie comes from Return of the Jedi," Terrio confirmed with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year. "So, we had access to everything in the archive, which turned out to be super helpful. So, yeah, the original trilogy was on our table for the flashback and for audio. That said, Leia was a very different person in the new trilogy, and I’m not sure that we would’ve used any audio from the original trilogy. Her voice had changed, and obviously, she was older, wiser, and had a different quality to her performance. So, I’m not sure we ended up using any audio from the original trilogy, and we tried to stay true to Carrie’s acting intentions as much as we could."

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The entire Skywalker Saga is currently streaming on Disney+.

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