Carrie Fisher's brother, Todd Fisher, has revealed new details about director JJ Abrams' original plans for Leia in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Fisher elaborated on the original intentions for his sister's iconic character going into Episode IX, prior to her sudden death in December 2016, claiming that she was actually meant to become the "Last Jedi" of the Skywalker saga."She was going to be the big payoff in the final film," he explained to the outlet. "She was going to be the last Jedi, so to speak. That's cool, right? People used to say to me, 'Why is it that Carrie never gets a lightsaber and chops up some bad guys.' Obi-Wan was in his prime when he was Carrie's age!"
While sadly we won't get to see Leia become the fully-fledged, lightsaber-wielding Jedi warrior that she was seemingly destined to be, Fisher indicated that her final appearance in the franchise is something very special, as he praised Abrams for the way in which he repurposed the unseen footage of his sister."The truth is that JJ Abrams was great friends with Carrie," he said. "He had an extraordinary sense of love for her. They had eight minutes of footage. They grabbed every frame and analysed it… and then reverse-engineered it and [got] it into the story the right way. It's kind of magical.
"This is, in its own way, a payoff… It's Carrie talking to us all from beyond. The beautiful thing about the concept of the Force is that there is no real death; you just exist in another dimension. So Carrie is looking down or sideways or wherever and is still part of us.
"To be able to see that – it's magical stuff only in the movies."Speaking at the D23 Expo theatrical panel earlier this year, JJ Abrams revealed more about Fisher's posthumous role in The Rise of Skywalker, explaining that the Princess-turned-General is "really the heart of this story, we couldn't possibly tell the end of these nine films without Leia."
As a further tribute to Fisher's central role within the Star Wars saga, the late actress received top billing on a recent poster for the forthcoming film, with her name being listed (alongside her on-screen brother Mark Hamill) ahead of the rest of the cast and crew of Episode IX.Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released in theaters on December 20, 2019, and will be the longest Star Wars film ever, clocking in at three minutes longer than Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi.
For more on Episode IX, find out how much Rise of Skywalker is projected to make in its opening weekend, check out the Easter eggs and clues we spotted in the final trailer, and take a look at this comparison between Palpatine's throne and unused Episode VI concept art.
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