‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Cast Remember Carrie Fisher, Describe Her Expanded ‘Episode IX’ Role
Carrie Fisher’s death was a monumental tragedy not just for her fans, but for her whole Star Wars family, who all had a hard time managing the loss of someone so vibrant. Plus, the question lingered about the final episode: Fisher’s work on The Last Jedi had been completed before she died, but what about Episode 9? From the looks of it, General Leia’s character may be recast, which is for the best, because apparently Leia has a pretty huge role in the final movie.
In Vanity Fair’s fantastic Star Wars cover story from their new issue, the cast talked a lot about Fisher and what she meant to each of them, and how she will be missed. Apparently Episode IX would have had a larger role for Leia, just as Han Solo was featured in The Force Awakens, and Luke Skywalker will be the at the hub of The Last Jedi. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirmed it:
The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ […] She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been.
The rest of the cast also shared some memories of how Fisher’s presence had impacted them on set, and what they learned from her. John Boyega recalled the announcement of his casting in The Force Awakens, and the racist backlash he experienced as a result of it.
I remember—and forgive me, I’m going to drop the f-bomb, but that’s just Carrie—she said, ‘Ah, boohoo, who f---n’ cares? You just do you.’ Words like that give you strength. I bore witness in a million ways to her sharing her wisdom with Daisy [Ridley] too.
Daisy Ridley shared how she admired Fisher’s no-nonsense ways.
Carrie lived her life the way she wanted to, never apologizing for anything, which is something I’m still learning. ‘Embarrassed’ is the wrong word, but there were times through it all when I felt like I was … shrinking. And she told me never to shrink away from it—that it should be enjoyed.
And Oscar Isaac revealed how much he enjoyed Fisher slapping him in the face almost thirty times in a row.
We did this scene where Carrie has to slap me. I think we did 27 takes in all, and Carrie leaned into it every time, man. She loved hitting me. Rian [Johnson] found such a wonderful way of working with her, and I think she really relished it.
Rian Johnson also recalled how much fun it was to work with Fisher, and revealed that she was even a script doctor on The Last Jedi too.
After I had a draft, I would sit down with her when I was working on re-writing. Sitting with her on her bed, in her insane bedroom with all this crazy modern art around us, TCM on the TV, a constant stream of Coca-Cola, and Gary the dog slobbering at her feet.
Out of everyone, Carrie was the one I really became friends with and expected to have in my life for years and years. I last saw her in November, at the birthday party that she threw at her house. In a way, it was the perfect final, encapsulating image of Carrie—receiving all her friends in the bedroom, with Debbie holding court in the living room.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theaters December 15.