Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Crafted Leia's Appearance Using 8 Minutes of Carrie Fisher Footage

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is right around the corner, and even though the trailers are here, people are still wondering what the plot will really look like. One thing has become clear in the last year, Carrie Fisher’s Leia Organa is poised to play a huge role in the upcoming blockbuster. She made an appearance in some of the recent trailers, and the questions among the fanbase about how much she would appear kicked into overdrive. In a recent interview with Yahoo, her brother Todd Fisher, talked about how this bit of movie magic enabled his sister to finish out this trilogy. It’s absolutely amazing what the effects team has been able to accomplish with just footage of the actress. It’s hard to believe so little film was used to bring her into this latest adventure.

Fisher began. “The truth is that J.J. Abrams was great friends with Carrie…he had an extraordinary sense of love for her. 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.”

Abrams is a filmmaker known for many stylistic themes and approaches across his films. He obviously had a soft spot for the star after she passed in 2016. Leia will remain a huge part of The Rise of Skywalker because the director wouldn’t have it any other way. Abrams spoke about the decision back at the D23 Expo. He says that the star is the heart of the story and talked about that all-important unused footage back then.

"Of course, we can't talk about the cast without talking about Carrie Fisher," Abrams offered. "The character of Leia is really the heart of this story. 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."


Abrams also pointed to an eerie feeling that, in a sense, Fisher knew she'd "work" with him again. This is all thanks to something she wrote in her last book, The Princess Diarist.

"We lost Carrie, heartbreakingly, she passed. I was working on this film and I realized we needed Carrie in this film," Abrams added. "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. "