Warning: The following post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Star Wars fans around the world have finally had the chance to see the late Carrie Fisher’s final performance as Leia in The Last Jedi, and our beloved princess did not disappoint. One scene in particular stands out above the rest: Leia, her body flowing lifeless in space, summons the Force to pull herself toward a Resistance ship to save her own life.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson spoke to IGN to discuss the surprising moment and whether he sees it as Leia going full-blown Jedi:
“This is a reflex action on her part It’s the equivalent in my head of when you hear about parents, toddlers are caught under cars, and they suddenly get Hulk strength and can lift it up. Or a drowning person climbing their way to the surface.
It’s instinctual, her use of it. It’s the opposite of when Luke Force-pulls the saber in Hoth. It isn’t like, ‘I’m going to try and do this.’ For her it’s just an instinctual thing of, ‘I’m not done yet. I’m not giving up. I’m pulling myself back in.’”
The fact that the filmmakers didn’t use the scene of Leia being sucked into space as a way to write her out of the story came as a huge relief to Star Wars fans everywhere. Johnson asserts that it was never the plan to kill off Leia in The Last Jedi, and that doing so would have robbed the film and the fans of some beautiful Leia moments:
“No. I mean, after we came back from New Year’s, Kathy [Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm] and I had a conversation and I felt really strongly that we had a beautiful performance from her.
Because if we did that [let Leia die], first of all that would feel like a very unsatisfying end to that character, because that moment of her getting blown out [into space] was not engineered to be an ending. And second, that would mean we would lose the scene with her and Luke, the scene with her and Rey at the end, the scene with her and Holdo. So much stuff that I feel I wanted to have from Carrie. I didn’t want to lose that.”
Are you glad that Rian Johnson stuck with the original plan for Leia in The Last Jedi? How do you think the fate of Leia should be handled in Star Wars: Episode IX? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now in theaters!