Carrie Fisher‘s death in 2016 was an emotional blow to people everywhere. And it also raised a question: how would the third and final entry in the new Star Wars trilogy address her passing? At first, it seemed as if Fisher’s General Leia wouldn’t be in the movie at all, but an announcement was soon made that director J.J. Abrams would be utilizing unused footage of the late actress to give Leia a presence in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
But just how much unused footage is there? And how big a part does Leia have? According to Fisher’s brother Todd Fisher, we shouldn’t expect to see a whole lot of Fisher in the film. But that doesn’t mean she won’t have an impact.
Todd Fisher, brother of the late Carrie Fisher, spoke with Yahoo recently about his sister’s role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. “They had eight minutes of footage,” Fisher said. “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.”
Eight minutes doesn’t sound like a lot, especially in a film that has a 2 hour and 35-minute runtime. But while Fisher doesn’t elaborate on what we’re going to see, he does hint at an emotional payoff:
“This is, in its own way, a payoff. … It’s Carrie talking to us all from beyond. The beautiful thing about the concept of the Force is that there is no real death; you just exist in another dimension. So Carrie is looking down or sideways or wherever and is still part of us. To be able to see that — it’s magical stuff only in the movies.”
Todd goes on to claim that had Carrie not died she would’ve had a much bigger part to play in The Rise of Skywalker. “She was going to be the big payoff in the final film,” Fisher said. “She was going to be the last Jedi, so to speak.” It’s worth noting that Todd Fisher isn’t directly involved with the making of The Rise of Skywalker, so his statements might not be 100% accurate. But he’s obviously spoken with director J.J. Abrams about all of this, so he has more insider knowledge than the rest of us.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens December 20, 2019.