“I will not be the last Jedi,” Luke Skywalker declared at the end of, well, The Last Jedi.
Fans have debated what Luke (Mark Hamill) meant by that. But originally there was reportedly at least one clear answer: General Leia Organa was going to become a full-fledged Jedi warrior in the upcoming final film, The Rise of Skywalker.
“She was going to be the big payoff in this final film,” Fisher said. “That’s what the intent was. She was going to be the last Jedi, so to speak… People used to say to me, ‘Why is it that Carrie never gets a lightsaber and chops up some bad guys?’”
Of course, it seems likely that desert-scavenger-turned-Jedi-apprentice Rey (Daisy Ridley) was also always intended to become a “last Jedi.”
The Rise of Skywalker includes a Leia story line that was created using deleted scenes from 2015’s The Force Awakens. Todd Fisher reveals that director J.J. Abrams had a total of eight minutes of unseen footage to work from. No CGI was used to add to the performance in the actress, who died after completing filming on The Last Jedi.
“This is in its own way a payoff… it’s Carrie talking to us all from beyond,” Fisher said.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens Dec. 20.