J.J. Abrams’ Plan For Princess Leia Left Carrie Fisher’s Daughter ‘Speechless’

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In a recent Time Magazine tribute to Carrie Fisher, her daughter Billie Lourd sets the stage for the late actress’ contribution to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, starting with her mother’s expectations for the film in the months before her death. “We wrapped The Last Jedi a little less than six months before she died,” Lourd explains. “I went back to L.A. to film the show I was on, and she stayed in London to film the show she was on. One of the last times we spoke on the phone, she talked about how excited she was that the next movie in the trilogy was going to be Leia’s movie. Her movie.”

According to Lourd, her mother was always aware of her role as “the only girl in an all-boys fantasy,” but that was starting to change. “With each new Star Wars movie, the all-boys fantasy started to become a boys-and-girls fantasy,” she writes. “She was no longer a part of a fantasy, but the fantasy herself. Leia was not just a sidekick one of the male leads had on his arm, or a damsel in distress. She was the hero herself. The princess became the general.”

In the aftermath of Fisher’s death, Lourd was devastated she could not fulfill her destiny—until a revelatory conversation with J.J. Abrams suggested otherwise. “This last movie was supposed to be Leia’s movie, and we wanted it to remain that, as much as possible. What I hadn’t known—and what J.J. told me that day—was that there was footage of my mom that they had collected over the years that hadn’t made it into the movies, footage that J.J. told me would be enough to write an entire movie around. It was like she had left us a gift that would allow Leia’s story to be completed. I was speechless.”

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theatres on December 19. Check out the trailer below.