On Friday, a Star Wars Celebration was happening in Chicago and for fans, the place to be was in a room with the director of the next (and last) installment of the current trilogy, JJ Abrams, who was there to reveal secrets (well, as many as he was allowed) — and he revealed how they have handled the death of Carrie Fisher.
Abrams conveyed how he and co-screenwriter Chris Terrio talked about how to move forward after the star’s untimely death on December 27, 2016.
“She was the best. She was glorious. She was amazing. And we all just loved her.” And that love for the actress made it hard to imagine how they could ever move forward — at first.
“It was impossible. There was no way. What are you gonna do? You don’t recast that part and you’re don’t suddenly have her disappear,” he said.
“And the weird miracle of having had a number of scenes from Force Awakens that had gone unused. Looking at those scenes and starting to understand that there was actually a way to use those scenes to continue her story so that it would be her.”
This obviously comes as welcome news to the legions of Leia fans who have been devastated by the loss of Fisher and what it would mean to her beloved character in the final film. Abrams went on to elaborate a bit more about how they are handling these “unused” scenes.
“The idea of having a CG character was off the table. We never even wanted to try. And the idea of saying what if we could actually write scenes around her, so it would be her performance, she’s in the movie.”
The idea sounds intriguing and certainly seems to be the best option for those purists who are aching for Leia’s story to continue in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — despite the heartbreak of losing the incredible lifeforce who created her.
“Every day it hits me that she’s not here, but it’s so surreal because we are working with her still.” He added, “She’s so alive in scenes. And the craziest part is how not crazy it feels. She is there in some scenes with Billie [Lourd], her daughter, who is in the movie as well. Princess Leia lives in this film in a way that is mind-blowing to me.”