Carrie Fisher in 'Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker': Remembering Princess Leia's final on-screen moments
And perhaps the ninth film of the iconic franchise would have been a lot better if Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia had been there
After Carrie Fisher's sudden death in December 2016, the 'Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker' were heartbroken and left with a dilemma. The film was supposed to see Fisher at the forefront, placing her in the spotlight, but now everything had to be rewritten again.
In an interview with Vanity Fair after the wrapping of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi', producer Kathleen Kennedy said, “The minute she [Fisher] finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ Because Harrison was front and center on VII and Mark is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been.”
And perhaps the ninth film of the iconic franchise would have been a lot better if Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia had been there. The other two films of the sequel trilogy saw her take a backseat, while Luke (Mark Hamill) and Hans Solo (Harrison Ford) spearheaded the films. In 'Rise Of Skywalker', the creators had to use cut footage from the previous two films to facilitate her appearance and required other characters to fill in the gaps. This means that every minute we saw of Leia in the last film was a genuine performance. The creators did the best they could with the footage, though at some points, the footage seems rather out of place and doesn't exactly blend in well. Carrie Fisher was a legendary actress, and so, seeing these very stilted scenes makes you wonder whether this was really the best way to honor her legacy, because she could scorch the screen, in any scene.
Yet, all said and done, Princess Leia will live on forever and even in the few glimpses we had of her in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and 'The Last Jedi', and the little footage in 'The Rise Of Skywalker', were magical.
We loved seeing her training Rey (Daisy Ridley) and passing on the force. It's a signal to begin a new era and the torch has been passed on. Leia's legacy will live on, and that shows when Rey takes the Skywalker name. Towards the end of her life, Leia was determined to reach out to her son, Ben Solo (Kylo Ren). Though he was already on the path to redemption, the contribution from both his parents helped him to become Ben Solo again. His redemption arc was a key storyline in the trilogy, and it was beautiful to see Leia play a role in it, even if it was a small one. Unfortunately, the narrative was re-written to fit round the footage available of Fisher. Characters had to provide a lot of exposition, in order to fill the gaps. Her lines remained very short and static, and quite similar to what we have seen before. The rewrite might have been tough, but was it really the right choice?
Leia's on-screen passing was a heartrending moment in 'The Rise Of Skywalker'. The entire community mourned for her and the genuine grief was portrayed perfectly. Fisher was a favorite among the cast and could talk to anyone and everyone. We saw a glimpse of this on-screen, as the world mourned the loss of the princess, just like how the cast, crew and fans grieved over Fisher's death.
Recently, Simon Pegg made us remember her again, as he spoke about how much he idolized her and said she was his 'first crush'. "I got to spend a little time with her. We had a lovely day when we sort of wandered around the set of the Resistance base together, arm in arm, and we were just [laughs] sort of chatting, and I turned around, we were looking at each other, and I was looking into her eyes and it was like the same eyes, you know [laughs]. It sounds really obvious to say it, bit it was like I was looking into those eyes that had so, sort of, captivated me as a kid. And I said, ‘You know, I’ve always loved you.’ And she grabbed my hand and looked at my wedding ring and said, ‘F**k you.’ [Laughs] It was the best day of my life,” he told Vanity Fair.
Fisher will always remain a legend and an icon. She did what she had always preached: Take your broken heart, and turn it into art. And, she did just that. 'Star Wars' universe will not be the same without her.