Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker had to pull off a lot of tricks in order to make Leia’s character work which included using footage from Star Wars: Return of The Jedi for a flashback sequence with Luke.
As we all know, Princess Leia actress Carrie Fisher sadly passed away in late 2016 due to a heart attack. While the actress had reportedly finished her work in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it begged the question as to what they were going to do about her role in The Rise of Skywalker. The filmmakers opted to use footage from previous films which, as it turned out, included footage from Return of The Jedi.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker notably contained several flashback sequences that helped clarify several of the film’s mysteries. One such flashback in The Rise of Skywalker showed Luke and Leia training with lightsabers apparently sometime after the events of Return of the Jedi. The scene was notable, in part, because it contained younger versions of Luke and Leia who looked exactly as they did in Return of the Jedi. As it turned out, at least some of this footage came from unused bits from Return of the Jedi.
While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker co-writer Chris Terrio talked about the sequence and how they put Carrie Fisher in the film. According to Terrio, the footage of Leia in that flashback sequence came from Return of the Jedi. He sadly did not go into how much of the sequence was original footage and how much came from Return of the Jedi:
As far as the audio goes, every word that she says in the movie she’s said as Leia in Star Wars. I’d have to talk to Skywalker Sound about which bits were usable exactly as they were and which bits were cobbled together with different audio tracks. We had all the audio that Leia says at our disposal, and of course, every word that she says on camera is really Carrie. We also had access to the dailies from the original trilogy, and in the flashback of Luke and Leia, that image of Carrie comes from Return of the Jedi. So, we had access to everything in the archive, which turned out to be super helpful. So, yeah, the original trilogy was on our table for the flashback and for audio. That said, Leia was a very different person in the new trilogy, and I’m not sure that we would’ve used any audio from the original trilogy. Her voice had changed, and obviously, she was older, wiser and had a different quality to her performance. So, I’m not sure we ended up using any audio from the original trilogy, and we tried to stay true to Carrie’s acting intentions as much as we could.
What did you all think of the Luke and Leia flashback in The Rise of Skywalker? Are you surprised to learn that at least part of it came from Return of the Jedi? Was the film a better series end then Return of the Jedi? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Here is the official synopsis for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker:
Lucasfilm and director J. J. Abrams join forces once again to take viewers on an epic journey to a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the riveting conclusion of the seminal Skywalker saga, where new legends will be born and the final battle for freedom is yet to come.
Directed by J. J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Ian McDiarmid, and Billy Dee Williams. Carrie Fisher will appear as General Leia Organa through the use of previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now in theaters.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter