Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Press Panel Lights Go out When J.J. Abrams Is Talking About Carrie Fisher

We're near the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, a film that is expected to provide an epic conclusion to decades of storytelling in a galaxy far, far away. Even with so much of The Rise of Skywalker being a mystery, there's quite a lot that has already tugged on the heartstrings of fans, including the fact that the film will be Carrie Fisher's final onscreen performance. It's clear that Fisher, who passed away in 2016, still has a profound impact on the film -- something that was on display in a heartwarming way during its recent press conference. ComicBook.com's Brandon Davis was on hand for the conference and caught a moment where the lights suddenly flickered, just as director J.J. Abrams was talking about Fisher's role in the film. Abrams claimed that the unintentionally-perfect coincidence was Fisher's doing, and even offered a friendly "Hi, Carrie!"

The moment is certainly a bizarre and heartwarming one, which, as Abrams joked in the video, is so on-brand for Fisher to do. It's also just the latest example of Fisher's legacy factoring into the film, which she appears in 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," 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. "

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will debut on December 20th.

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