In Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, director J.J. Abrams managed to bring back Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia to give her a proper sendoff from the franchise despite the actress passing away in 2016. By using unused footage from The Force Awakens and some digital wizards, fans were able to see the general onscreen one last time.
Actor Oscar Isaac explained how important it was to bring her back.
“We just miss her. It’s not fair that she’s not here and she’s not part of this. It’s also a great reminder of what an incredible talent she was. Even more so than being a part of the last two hours of this 11-hour saga, it’s being a part of the last film that she gets to be in that means a lot.”
Fisher’s daughter and fellow actress Billie Lourd also had a small role in the final trilogy in the Skywalker Saga, and she posted a lovely picture with her late mother at the premiere of The Force Awakens back in 2015.
Lourd did not attend the Rise of Skywalker premiere, and her uncle, Todd Fisher, had a good explanation for her absence.
“I think it’s important that she does what’s best for her. What good is it for her to come here and fall apart in a crowd of people? Why would you subject yourself to that?”
Lourd has also been busy traveling Asia with her boyfriend, so it’s not all sorrow. Lourd has opened up in the past about what it was like living in her famous mother and grandmother’s shadows. She explained in an interview with her American Horror Story costar Sarah Paulson:
“I’ve always kind of lived in their shadows, and now is the first time in my life when I get to own my life and stand on my own. I love being my mother’s daughter, and it’s something I always will be, but now I get to be just Billie… It’s a lot of pressure, because she had such an incredible legacy, and now I have to uphold that and make it evolve in my own way.”
Lourd wrote a beautiful essay for Time earlier this year, where she addressed her return for Rise of Skywalker and how her relationship with the franchise has evolved.
“J.J. asked me if I would want to come back as Lieutenant Connix. I knew it would be one of the most painful, difficult things I would ever do, but I said yes for her–for my mom. For Leia. For everyone Leia means so much to. For everyone Leia gives strength to. For my future kids, so someday they’ll have one more movie to watch that Mommy and Grandma were in together. So they can ask me about the lady–now ladies–in the TV and tell me to turn it down because it’s too loud.
I grew up with three parents: a mom, a dad and Princess Leia. Initially, Princess Leia was kind of like my stepmom. Now she’s my guardian angel. And I’m her keeper.”