Following her tragic death, there was a question of what Carrie Fisher’s passing meant for her character Leia Organa in the next Star Wars film. Lucasfilm eventually made it clear that the role would not be recast, nor would Leia be a CGI creation, as she was in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Instead Leia’s story would be concluded using unused footage from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
But that may not be the only way Leia returns in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. That’s because a new rumor claims that Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd, who also plays Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix in the sequel trilogy, may be a stand-in for the late actress in December’s concluding chapter of the Skywalker Saga.
However, this rumor goes beyond just Billie Lourd playing her mom’s stand-in in the film. This is firmly in the realm of rumor and speculation at the moment but, if true, it could constitute a spoiler, so proceed with caution.
According to MakingStarWars.net, sources have claimed that although Carrie Fisher’s General Leia was never recast for Star Wars: Episode IX, Princess Leia was, and Billie Lourd will be the stand-in for Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia in scenes that will be brought to life with the help of CGI.
The General/Princess Leia thing might seem like an odd distinction, but it tracks with other rumblings that would support the need for a Princess Leia stand-in. MakingStarWars.net’s Jason Ward has heard that there is a flashback sequence in The Rise of Skywalker involving Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia post-Return of the Jedi.
In this sequence, Anakin Skywalker’s progeny are having a pivotal conversation that could supposedly change our perspective on the characters and events in the trilogy. The speculation is that this conversation pertains to some sort of premonition and that it influences Leia’s choice not to pursue becoming a Jedi.
The existence of such a scene would necessitate Leia be brought to life in a different way, assuming Carrie Fisher didn’t film footage for a young Princess Leia prior to her death. So in this instance, Billie Lourd could either be actually playing Princess Leia in a flashback or acting as a stand-in for a scene that will be created using CGI.
There would be precedent for this too. In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, actress Ingvild Deila played young Princess Leia and was made to look like Carrie Fisher thanks to CGI. So a similar approach could be taken here, only Carrie Fisher’s daughter would be the one rocking the hair buns.
If this rumor proves true, it would also mean that someone would have to play a young Luke Skywalker. Perhaps they could just use the increasingly more impressive de-aging technology on Mark Hamill or, if they’re recasting Princess Leia with Billie Lourd, why not call in Sebastian Stan to play young Luke.
The story implications of such a flashback are quite compelling but, just on a surface level, this rumor about Billie Lourd acting as a stand-in in some fashion for Carrie Fisher is cool. While using a CGI General Leia or recasting would be perilous, this would be a way to add more to Leia’s story beyond what the unused footage contains to help close out her arc, while also honoring the actress by allowing her daughter to act as her stand-in.
There were previous rumors that Billie Lourd was going to play a young Leia in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, so this may again prove false, but seeing Princess Leia again would be a nice way to close out this saga. And while she didn’t spill any details, Billie Lourd certainly sounds excited about Episode IX.