Prior to the debut of The Force Awakens, audiences knew that both Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher would reprise their roles as Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, yet we never got to see the two characters share the screen. When the siblings finally shared a brief moment together in The Last Jedi, it was both touching and hilarious, thanks in due part to Fisher's contribution of a line about her hairstyle.
With audiences not having seen the characters interact since 1983's Return of the Jedi, the moment they came face to face felt momentous. Rather than their first exchange be heavy and emotional, Leia pointed out, "I know what you're going to say – I changed my hair."
"That was her," writer/director Rian Johnson told Entertainment Weekly. "That was a Carrie Fisher line. Of course it was."
Fisher proved not only to be a powerful figure in front of the camera, but also behind, as Johnson regularly received invaluable recommendations from the actress.
"I would sit down with her and she would just give me … After an hour, I would have filled up pages and pages writing down the notes and one-liners that she would pitch," Johnson confessed. "And so we tried to work them in whenever we could."
A newcomer to the Star Wars universe was Vice Admiral Holdo, played by Laura Dern. The military figure didn't spend much time with Leia in the film, yet the few moments they shared hinted at the deep connection they clearly had. One of their pivotal scenes, in which Leia must say goodbye to her good friend, also featured a fair amount of input from Fisher.
"In the scene with Holdo, that was Carrie," Johnson admitted. "I think that as Star Wars fans, especially as adults, you can get into a mindset of wanting it to just be the heavy opera. And I don't know, I was 10 years old when Return of the Jedi came out. That was the perfect age for it. And the humor and the slight goofiness of it also, and kind of the slight free-wheeling feel of it, and how it's unafraid to have fun, that to me is essential."
You can see Fisher's final performance in The Last Jedi, in theaters now.