Star Wars is arguably the biggest franchise in the business, having spanned decades of filmmaking and accrued entire generations of rabid fans. And since Disney acquired Lucasfilm years back, plenty of new and exciting projects have helped expand the galaxy far, far away. But despite the standalone films and upcoming live-action series, all eyes are on what J.J. Abrams will do with Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.
The pressure is on for J.J. Abrams to not only conclude the current sequel trilogy, but the entire Skywalker Saga as a whole. What's more, he's also grappled with the challenge of bringing Carrie Fisher's Leia back to the screen through unused footage from the previous two movies. Abrams recently revealed that Fisher will be sharing more scenes with daughter Billie Lourd in the blockbuster. And while he originally wrote out Lourd from certain scenes to spare her emotions, she insisted. As Abrams revealed:
And so, there are moments where they’re talking; there are moments where they’re touching. There are moments in this movie where Carrie is there, and I really do feel there is an element of the uncanny, spiritual, you know, classic Carrie, that it would have happened this way, because somehow it worked. And I never thought it would.
Well, I've got chills. Seeing Carrie Fisher share scenes with her daughter Billie Lourd in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi was already an emotional experience, but things will be even more heightened in the wake of Fisher's death. Because it's like she'll be brought back to have final moments with Lourd's Lt. Connix on screen.
When Carrie Fisher passed away in December of 2016, shortly after wrapping her role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. So while Rian Johnson's sequel was able to use Leia as intended, it was unclear if/how the General would have a role in Episode IX. Luckily, there appears to be enough leftover footage from Fisher's last two appearances, which will be used to complete Leia's story once and for all.
Billie Lourd's role as Lt. Connix has been mostly tertiary, with the 26 year-old actress getting just one quick line in The Force Awakens. Connnix's role was eventually expanded in The Last Jedi, as she was instrumental to Finn's escape to Canto Bight and Poe's mutiny in the film's second act. And from J.J. Abrams' comments to Vanity Fair, it looks like she'll get more screen time in The Rise of Skywalker, even physically touching her late mother's character in the process.
Leia's role in The Rise of Skywalker will likely remain one of the most talked about aspects of the movie ahead of its release. The character had an unpredictable outing in The Last Jedi, so it seems like anything is possible for the final installment in the Skywalker Saga.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will arrive in theaters on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.