Monday was a day filled with quite a lot of emotions for Star Wars fans, as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker received its final trailer and had tickets go on sale. The day also marked what would have been the sixty-third birthday of Carrie Fisher, who portrayed Leia Organa in the franchise up until her death in 2016. On top of The Rise of Skywalker's trailer paying homage to Fisher - who appears through archival footage - the poster for the film honored the iconic actress in a pretty profound way. The new poster, which features the full credits of cast and crew, has Fisher listed as the top-billed actress, with her onscreen brother Mark Hamill following close behind.
The detail is subtle but incredibly heartwarming, especially for fans who are still impacted by Fisher and her legacy. The actress passed away in late 2016 from cardiac arrest, days after she had experienced a medical emergency while on an international flight. Soon after her passing, Lucasfilm determined that she would appear in The Rise of Skywalker - which had not begun filming before her death - through the use of previously-unreleased footage from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“Both [myself and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy] were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don't," Carrie's brother, Todd Fisher, said in 2017. "She’s as much a part of it as anything and I think her presence now is even more powerful than it was, like Obi-Wan — when the saber cuts him down he becomes more powerful. I feel like that's what's happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue.”
"I’m not the only part in that equation, but I think the people deserve to have her,” Fisher added. “She's owned by them. You don't mess with this legacy. It would be like rewriting the Bible. To me, Star Wars is the holy grail of storytelling and lore and you can't mess with it.”
"The character of Leia is really the heart of this story," director J.J. Abrams shared earlier this year. "We realized we could not possibly tell this story without Leia. We had footage from Episode VII so that we could use in a new way. So, we were able to use Carrie in a new way."
"We lost Carrie, heartbreakingly, she passed. I was working on this film and I realized we needed Carrie in this film," Abrams continued. "She was sort of like always supernaturally witty in a way. I went back and I looked at her last book, The Princess Diarist, she had written 'and special thanks to JJ Abrams for putting up with me twice.' Now, I had never worked with her before force Awakens and I had not signed up for this yet. Now, it was a classic Carrie thing, to do something like that and we could not be more excited for you to see her in her final performance as Leia. "
What do you think of Carrie Fisher getting top billing on the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker poster? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will debut on December 20th.