With the sacrifice of Luke Skywalker, Rey seemingly stands alone as the last of the Jedi as we enter Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. But, according to Todd Fisher, if not for his sister’s tragic passing, there were plans for there to be another.
Speaking to Yahoo recently, Fisher discussed how The Rise of Skywalker is ultimately using the unreleased material shot for The Force Awakens to give General Leia one final outing, in tribute to the dearly missed actress, who sadly passed away in late 2016. “They had eight minutes of footage,” Fisher said of his sister’s role in the movie. “They grabbed every frame and analyzed it... and then reverse-engineered it and [got] it into the story the right way. It’s kind of magical.”
But it’s what Fisher had to say of his sister’s potential role in The Rise of Skywalker that is interesting—with Yahoo alleging Leia “was going to emerge as a full-fledged Jedi warrior, complete with her very own lightsaber. That’s according to no less an authority than Fisher’s real-life brother, Todd Fisher”
“She was going to be the big payoff in this final film and that was what the intent was prior to her exiting. She was going to be the last Jedi, so to speak...” Fisher told Yahoo. “People used to say to me, ‘Why is it that Carrie never gets a lightsaber and chop up some bad guys,’...Obi-Wan, when he was in his prime, was Carrie’s age.”
This isn’t the first time that Todd Fisher has suggested details about what his sister’s role in the movies could have been in the wake of her death—it’s also far from the first time since Carrie Fisher’s passing that we’ve heard there were big plans for Leia’s arc in the ninth and final entry in the Skywalker saga. But it’s the first we’ve really heard of Leia stepping away from her role as a military leader of the Resistance and more openly embracing the power of the Force that we’ve long known she’s wielded—even before she called on it to save her life out in the vacuum of space in The Last Jedi.
The primal thrill of the idea of Leia wielding her own lightsaber is exciting to contemplate, especially compounded by the sad idea that it’s not happening because of Fisher’s untimely passing. But it’s important to remember as well that it’s not the weapon that makes someone a Jedi—a lesson she, her brother, Rey, and many more would know. Leia would never have become the last, or one of the last, Jedi. She already was one, like her father and brother before her, just without the title and all the baggage the establishment that is the Jedi Order brings with it.
We might not see Leia take up the arms of a Jedi Knight in The Rise of Skywalker. But the Force will be with her, nonetheless. Always has been, always will be.
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