D23 Star Wars News: Carrie Fisher To Have Prominent Role in The Rise of Skywalker, Using Cut Footage

Obviously, the death of Carrie Fisher was a major blow to the entire Star Wars franchise and fandom. For quite a while we've all wondered how she would play into The Rise of Skywalker. Initial reports that they would use CGI footage to recreate her was shot down by Lucasfilm. So, fans and followers were still wondering how much footage was left over to make her a prominent role in the upcoming concluding trilogy entry. This weekend at D23, director JJ Abrams made it quite clear that there was enough footage to still have the actor a major part of the film. Here's what he had to say:

"We can’t talk about the cast without talking about Carrie Fisher. And the character of Leia is really in a way the heart of this story. We could not tell the end of these nine films without Leia. And we realized that we had footage from ‘Episode 7’ [‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’] that we realized we could use in a new way. So Carrie, as Leia, gets to be in the [new] film."

He continued:

"But the crazy part is we started to work on this movie and I wasn’t supposed to be directing this movie [Colin Trevorrow was originally hired to direct it]. Then we lost Carrie. And I was hired on this film and began working. And I remember this thing that I had read that I actually thought I was mistaken. I looked in her last book, The Princess Diarist, and she had written, ‘Special thanks to J.J. Abrams for putting up with me twice.’ Now I had never worked with her before ‘[The] Force Awakens’ and I wasn’t supposed to do this movie. So it was a classic Carrie thing to sort of write something like that that could only mean one thing for me. We couldn’t be more excited to have you see her in her final performance as Leia.”