Director J.J Abrahms soothed some of the concerns that followed the unfortunate and unexpected circumstances that may affect the Star Wars story at Los Angeles’ Rise Of Skywalker press day December 4th. Fortunately there’s good news.
Unfortunately, amongst the wait for the coming Star Wars, the original actress that plays General Leia Organa, also known as Princess Leia passed away unexpectedly months before production. Leia has been portrayed by Carrie Fisher since the beloved character was introduced in the original Star Wars film in 1977. Her significant role consist of being the princess of the terrestrial planet Alderaan, daughter of Dart Vader, twin sister of Luke Skywalker, Supreme Commander of the Resistance and many other significant roles. The very important role of this character is pretty much a necessity to the entire Star Wars universe as most of the story revolves and reveals around the fruits of her presence. Now that Carrie Fisher is no longer physically with us, many are wondering if there’s plans set for the tragedy of eliminating the iconic character or replacing her and if so, with who?
In an interview, director J.J Abrahms acknowledges Leia’s role in the Star Wars franchise as just as “profound” as Han and Luke Skywalker in the Force Awakens and the Last Jedi, respectively. In the interview, the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, why) on how production was going about including General Leia Organa in the story. Here’s what J.J said
“Clearly we would have done other things had Carrie, been around, but I will say despite her not being with us anymore, her presence in the movie is not inconsequential. She’s not being ‘added in’ so that she’s in the movie. And I would say that her story, her role, the importance of Leia, I would argue is as profound as what you’re saying even though she wasn’t here.”
Therefore, writing Leia’s death into the script wouldn’t be the best, wanted or even easiest option. J.J Abrahms discusses the improvisations that had to be accommodated into the production to be able to deliver correctly.
“There was no way, as I’ve said before, to tell the story without Leia. She’s too important. It’s Skywalker saga. She is the living Skywalker in our story. You don’t want to start the story and say something happened to her in between movies. It didn’t feel right. We’d never recast it. A digital Leia wouldn’t work. There was no way to do it.”
J.J abrahms remembers of times he’d shot extra scenes with General Leia that didn’t make it to the final cut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Trash becomes Treasure when filmmakers get into the cutting room looking for material to repurpose.
The director even said that after looking at the footage from Stars Wars: The Force Awakens, the number of scenes that were useable actually contributing to the story we’ll be seeing in the new film as chose to he write scenes ‘around’ the found material.
“When we looked at the footage from [Star Wars:]The Force Awakens, which I was obviously very familiar with, and realized we had a number of scenes we could use, and, and write scenes around, it was suddenly like, ‘Oh my God, we could tell the story with Leia in the film.”
Looks like recycling is definitely good for this planet when it comes to the final chapter in the Skywalker saga.