Carrie Fisher’s untimely death in December 2016 set a very different tone for Star Wars: The Last Jedi than what was expected — or at the very least, added another layer. Though Rian Johnson’s film was set to be darker in tone compared to The Force Awakens, the character of General Leia would undoubtedly mean something more to fans going in given real-life circumstances.
Fisher had already shot her scenes for The Last Jedi before her passing and her talent for writing had been something boasted by Johnson well ahead of the tragedy. Thanks to an interview Johnson did with The Daily Beast, we know just how much input Fisher had in what turned out to be her final moments in the franchise.
(Warning: The following will detail major plot points in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Feel free to come back and read this later if you haven’t already seen the film)
One scene that will stick out to many fans as symbolic in Star Wars history was the reunion of Leia and Luke Skywalker. Though the meeting wasn’t exactly a face-to-face encounter, it still gave fans the moment they’ve been waiting for since 1983 — the most recent time Hamill and Fisher shared the screen in the franchise with Return of the Jedi. The scene was about loss and forgiveness. Leia forgives Luke for failing her son Ben, while Luke comforts Leia by handing her Han Solo’s lucky dice as he says “No one’s ever really gone.”
It was a touching moment in theaters, but not for the reason anyone could have predicted while shooting the scene. In fact, Fisher herself added a moment of levity with her ‘I changed my hair’ line. Despite the added humor from Fisher, Johnson spoke about the weight of the set that day and looking back on the scene given all that has happened:
“It’s bizarre because, you know, obviously we didn’t know that it was gonna be a farewell scene. And it’s odd because I remember when we were shooting the Luke-Leia scene, it felt like church on set. It was usually a jovial set, you know, a really happy, bouncy set. And that day, everyone was just quiet and just watching these two.
“It was like a hush over the whole set. It really did feel like church. I remember there being a weight to the whole thing and we all just felt like, we’re seeing something really special happen. In a way that it never, ever was on the set for us. There was, very weirdly, weight.”
Even Leia’s very last words in the film resonate in an entirely different light. Speaking to Rey, as the Rebellion is left in shambles, the young Jedi in training asks “How do we build a rebellion from this?” A very poignant question for Star Wars as a whole after Fisher’s death which left many wondering “What now?” To Daisy Ridley’s remark about the Rebellion, Leia calmly responded “We have everything we need.”
“Now when I watch (Fisher’s performance), of course, it’s…I mean, it’s complicated. It’s very complicated. I feel very—God, I feel lucky, you know? I feel lucky to have this performance from her, I feel lucky we had those moments with her. I feel so lucky that her last moments in the movie, which are at the very end of the movie, are words of hope given to Rey, given to us. Yeah. God. I wish she was here to see it.”
During a panel at Star Wars Celebration last April, Johnson recalled hours spent at Fisher’s house and tinkering with the script. As it turns out, Leia wasn’t the only one who added a flair during some final goodbyes.
In the third act of the film, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo and Leia have a moment before Holdo ultimately sacrifices herself. As with the Luke scene, intended to be a farewell to one character, the situation has a slight reverse effect. “So much loss” Leia remarked, “I can’t take anymore.”
Holdo smiled. “Sure you can,” she said. “You taught me how.”
That response to Leia was added by Holdo actress Laura Dern. Meant to show her admiration for Fisher, the line takes on a new life in the sense that the passing of Fisher, in many ways, taught fans about loss and how to process it.
Then, in the final goodbye between the two leaders, Johnson recalled another Fisher line of her own. After Holdo struggles with the classic phrase “May the force,” Leia quips “You go, I’ve said it enough.”
“And then they both say, ‘May the Force be with you, always’ together. That was Carrie, too.”
“That whole Holdo scene, that goodbye scene was actually completely rewritten with Carrie and with Laura. The three of us got together and worked through it. And the real heart of that scene came from Laura. It was her saying, ‘I just feel like, from my character to Leia, but also me to Carrie, I want to express what she means to me. I want to express my gratitude.’ That’s one that may be the most powerful, oddly for me, especially now watching them. I’m just so happy we were able to get that.”
It might be fair to say that, despite one’s own opinion of the film, Johnson speaks for many fans when he speaks of the joy in seeing Leia on screen for the last time. Though her scenes were completed for Last Jedi, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has already spoken against the idea of digitally recreating Leia and instead is opting to write the character out of Episode IX.
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 Daily Beast
10 Moments From ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ That Blew Our Minds
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is finally here and the internet is exploding with glee. Not only is the movie a competent sequel that does a great job on building things up from The Force Awakens, but it’s also packed with awesome moments. The humor, action and set pieces culminate in an awesome movie jammed full of moments that will make audiences hum for years to come.
Beware, this article is packed full of The Last Jedi spoilers! It’s nearly impossible to talk about a movie’s coolest moments without mentioning a few plot points, so please, if you haven’t seen the movie yet wait and come back to this article! These moments will be enjoyable on repeat watches, but they are at their most exciting and awesome when they are a total surprise to the audience!
If you’re still here, hit Next to learn more about the 10 coolest moments in Star Wars: The Last Jedi!