The Star Wars movies are perhaps the most beloved film franchise of all time. Entire generations of moviegoers grew up with the epic space opera, and Disney has been making some serious cheddar since acquiring Lucasfilm. The franchise as we know it will come to an end with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, with J.J. Abrams tasked with completing the nine-film Skywalker Saga forever.
On top of the pressure of completing the decades-long narrative, J.J. Abrams must also bring Carrie Fisher's General Leia to life, despite her 2016 death. This will be done through unused footage of the actress' last two appearances, although some fans worried they might also digitally create her likeness, as they did with Leia and Tarkin in Rogue One. But a new report indicates that Abrams isn't going that route for The Rise of Skywalker.
The latest rumor about Episode IX comes to us from Star Wars News Net, which is a hub for all things Star Wars. The outlet reportedly has a source close to production on the franchise, and claims that old footage is being weaved together to give Leia one more adventure. What's more, that the digital face that was delivered to audiences in Rogue One wouldn't be present. The quote given is as follows:
They are combining clips. There will also be no horrible digi-double that was used for Leia in Rogue One. This is all being done in what we call 'comp.' There will be some digital work done (ageing, hair) so her face and body match, but not the uncanny valley like Tarkin in Rogue One. They will be changing her hair or adding wrinkles as she looked very different between TFA and TLJ.
After taking a few jabs at the visual affects work from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the anonymous crew member's comments might be a relief to certain Star Wars fans. The contents of The Rise of Skywalker are a total mystery, which is pretty typical for the space opera. But this mystery has caused some anxiety regarding Leia' role, and how exactly the unused footage would be pieced together to craft the beloved character's final bow.
But according to this new report, the new clips will be pieced together, and J.J. Abrams' team won't be doing any super extensive CGI for Leia' Rise of Skywalker role. Obviously she'll needed to be added to scenes, but she reportedly won't get the full Grand Moff Tarkin treatment. Instead, detail work will be done to age Carrie Fisher's likeness appropriately as years go by within the timeline of the franchise.
It's hard to imagine The Rise of Skywalker without Leia, as she's been a supporting figure throughout the first two movies. Episode IX was going to prominently feature Carrie Fisher before her death, giving her the screen time Harrison Ford got in The Force Awakens and Mark Hamill got in The Last Jedi. So it should be fascinating to see just how much Leia ends up in the upcoming blockbuster.
All will be revealed when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th, complete with Carrie Fisher's General Leia. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.