Rian Johnson Discusses How Carrie Fisher’s Death Impacted ‘Star Wars’

Star Wars: The Last Jedi marks the final on-screen appearance of Carrie Fisher as Leia and Rian Johnson had some tough decisions to make about her character

Star Wars Carrie Fisher

Star Wars: The Last Jedi marks the final on-screen appearance of Carrie Fisher as Princess-now-General Leia Organa, as the actress passed away earlier this year. Director Rian Johnson was then faced with some difficult decisions regarding how to portray the character in The Last Jedi and to give her a proper send off.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Rian Johnson noted that he wanted to include as much of Carrie Fisher’s performance as possible, but conversations were had at Lucasfilm regarding changing her final outcome in Star Wars: The Last Jedi:

“That was the very first conversation I had with [Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy] after we came back, after New Year’s. I kind of looked through the footage. That was the very first question. I felt really strongly that what we have here is so beautiful and the way that the character develops, the way it’s paid off, and not only that, the horror of trying to manufacture something that — I don’t even know what it would have been, but something for the end of this movie that leaves it in a place where the transition is easier, the idea of, “Oh God, how would you fake something like that, and how would it not be terrible?” Given that we have a beautiful, complete performance from her that I think audiences deserve to see, and I think it will mean a lot for them, that ray of hope from Leia. For all of those reasons I felt really strongly that we had to let this fly.”

Johnson went on to note that while Leia’s journey does not end here, Johnson is confident that J.J. Abrams and Company can figure out a proper way to tie up the loose ends with her character in Star Wars: Episode IX:

“Luckily we have a fantastic storyteller in J.J. Abrams who is going to figure out a way to bring it home in the end, that’s going to be satisfying, I know he’s going to. With this movie I just wanted audiences to have this performance.”

What did you think of Leia in Star Wars: The Last Jedi? How do you think they will deal with the character in Episode IX? Sound off in the comments below!

“In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.”

Written and directed by Rian Johnson, the film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters now.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith

Heroic Hollywood Weekend Editor. Pop culture fanatic, writer, and filmmaker. Almost always found on Twitter.