Audiences might primarily know Carrie Fisher from her acting roles, most notably in the Star Wars series, in addition to The Blues Brothers and The 'Burbs. Later in her career, Fisher delved into another facet of filmmaking, contributing her talents to a variety of writing projects. Due to her way with words, The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson embraced her input on the film, including a pivotal scene between Leia and Vice Admiral Holdo.
***WARNING: Spoilers below for The Last Jedi***
Towards the end of the film's second act, General Leia and Holdo (Laura Dern) are faced with a pivotal decision for the good of the Resistance. While most of the organization is able to board emergency vessels, Holdo tells Leia that she must stay behind to pilot the ship in a last-ditch effort against the First Order.
The novel Leia: Princess of Alderaan revealed how the pair had been life-long friends, which makes the goodbye in the film feel all the more dramatic.
“I rewrote that scene with those two actors,” Johnson told the L.A. Times. “Laura really wanted to find a way to pay tribute to Carrie and what Leia meant to her growing up, and that’s where that moment came from. And the [response to Holdo attempting to say “May the force be with you”], ‘I’ve said it enough, you go ahead’ — that was Carrie’s line.”
Shortly after this exchange, Holdo engaged the ship's hyperdrive while pointed at the First Order's fleet, eviscerating some of their most important ships. Audiences don't see Holdo again in the film, yet it's unclear if this was a suicide mission or if the ship's shield remained intact and Holdo merely depleted its fuel resources, potentially stranding her somewhere.
This information confirms some of Johnson's comments from earlier this year, in which he had to remain vague as it was before the film's release.
"Carrie was, you know, a writer first and foremost. She loved words," Johnson said in an interview with ComicBook.com. "We would get together and we would go over the scenes. We wouldn't rewrite the scenes but she would throw out suggestions for jokes, and lines, and ideas. And we'd go back and forth."
Taking her illustrious writing career into account, Johnson knew she had as much talent behind the camera as in front of it.
"There are a few scenes that we got together with her and the other actors in the scene and kind of shaped it," Johnson said. "I mean, if you have Carrie Fisher standing there with you, you'd be a fool not to use her writing talents. That was probably her main contribution."
The Last Jedi is in theaters now.
[H/T L.A. Times]