Director and writer J.J. Abrams and his co-writer Chris Terrio had a major obstacle for them going into Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: the deeply felt absence of star Carrie Fisher, who passed away in 2016. The solution to use already-shot footage of Fisher from Star Wars: The Force Awakens was met with some skepticism, but ultimately respect for honoring her memory by not creating a new CGI version of her for the film. But a few shots in The Rise of Skywalker put into question whether Abrams only used already-shot footage as the team had promised.
In a new interview, Terrio confirms that every shot of Fisher as Leia Organa is used from The Force Awakens, as well as a few other Star Wars films.
Some spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker follow.
It was widely known that Abrams and his team would be using already-shot footage of Carrie Fisher from The Force Awakens to complete her character’s decades-long arc in The Rise of Skywalker. But one notable flashback scene in the film shows a clearly younger version of Fisher as Leia Organa, during the time period of the original Star Wars trilogy. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Terrio confirmed that to achieve that scene, Abrams and company went back to dailies from the original trilogy.
“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.”
This confirmation is encouraging, especially since in those flashback scenes, which show a young Luke training Leia in the Jedi ways soon after the events of Return of the Jedi, Leia looks as shiny as a video game character. But it seems that Abrams and Terrio were determined to live up to that promise to not use de-aging or CGI technology to create a new digital version of Leia, instead honoring Fisher’s memory with actual unseen footage of her.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now.
Source: Slash Film