Carrie Fisher’s passing was a true American tragedy. Since the loss, her memory has played a rather large role in the Star Wars franchise ranging from the Leia cameo in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to Fisher’s expanded role in the more recent Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Many fans speculated that writer/director Rian Johnson would rework the script to write Fisher’s character out of the saga, and yet, once the film ended, her legacy and her position as general was more in tact than ever.
Recently, Johnson sat down with Jess thorn of the Bullseye podcast and reveled that discussions were had with LucasFilm that indeed called for her role to change in what is now the 10th highest growing film of all time.
“It’s impossible not to change watching it, the filter you watch it through and all of her scenes just become a lot more complicated watching them back. Absolutely it did,” said Johnson. “And then, obviously, her scene with Luke [Skywalker], suddenly it becomes a goodbye scene in a much more profound way than it was before.
“She passed away around New Year’s. We got back after the holiday break and went in the edit room and looked through all of her scenes and had a conversation with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and the question briefly arose, ‘Do we try and do something? Do we try and manufacture an ending for the character or something?’ I felt strongly and we decided pretty quickly no, we’re gonna let this performance stand.”
It would have been bittersweet to change the narrative of her character following the work Fisher herself had done on the film. Leaving in the choices made by Leia in the film without altering her fate was bold and ambitious.
“And also because her performance, I thought, was beautiful and I thought that if we did that, we’d have to lose some element of it,” Johnson said. “Whether it was the scene with Luke or the scene at the end with her and Daisy [Ridley] in the Falcon. I want, especially now, I want to leave the movie with Carrie Fisher having told me the words of hope at the end of this movie. I wanted the world to have this performance of hers.”
Fans knew in the back of their minds that this performance was Fisher’s last which made her scenes that more heart-wrenching and sad. Leaving it as leaves fans with a strong, lasting legacy and allows her to live on as the one true general of the Resistance.
What do you think? Do you think Johnson should’ve reworked the film to give Leia a proper sendoff? How do you think the character will be handled in the future? Let us know @superbromovies.