Today marks a particularly noteworthy day for Star Wars fans, as the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set to debut tonight. The occasion also happens to fall on what would have been the sixty-third birthday for Carrie Fisher, who portrayed Leia Organa in the beloved franchise. Fans of the galaxy far, far away have taken to social media to celebrate Fisher's birthday -- including her costar and onscreen twin brother, Mark Hamill. On Monday, Hamill took to Twitter to share a photo of himself and Fisher dancing together, alongside the quote "being happy isn't getting what you want, it's wanting what you have".
Fisher passed away in late 2016 from cardiac arrest, days after she had experienced a medical emergency while on an international flight. Her sudden death profoundly impacted Star Wars fans and left an interesting question mark over The Rise of Skywalker, which had yet to be filmed at the time. Soon after her passing, Lucasfilm determined that she would appear in the film through the use of previously-unreleased footage from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
"You don’t recast and you don’t suddenly have her disappear. We had a lot of scenes from The Force Awakens that went unused," director J.J. Abrams said during The Rise of Skywalker's panel at Star Wars Celebration Chicago. "Leia lives in this film in a way that is kinda mind-blowing to me."
“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.”
What do you think of Mark Hamill's tribute to Carrie Fisher on her birthday? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will debut on December 20th.