Carrie Fisher’s Leia Organa Solo was intended to be the actual last Jedi in Disney’s Star Wars saga, according to the late actor’s brother Todd Fisher.
“She was going to be the big payoff in the final film,” Fisher told Yahoo. “She was going to be the last Jedi, so to speak. That’s cool right?”
The idea of a ‘last Jedi’ was introduced when the eighth film was subtitled The Last Jedi, and those involved in the film were mum on who it was referring to – even pausing at disclosing if it was referring to a specific person or a broader ideal.
“People used to say to me, ‘Why is it that Carrie never gets a lightsaber and chops up some bad guys?'” Todd Fisher said. “Obi-Wan was in his prime when he was Carrie’s age!”
Following Fisher’s death in 2016, plans for what would later become known as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker were amended by Lucasfilm to not include Fisher’s character. According to Todd Fisher, it was J.J. Abrams – who signed on for Rise of Skywalker after Carrie Fisher’s death – that figured out a way to include her in the ninth film.
“The truth is that J.J. Abrams was great friends with Carrie; he had an extraordinary sense of love for her,” her brother said. “They had eight minutes of footage. They grabbed every frame and analysed it… and then reverse-engineered it and [got] it into the story the right way. It’s kind of magical.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is scheduled to open in theaters December 20.