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Leia and Rey hug in Star Wars Rise of Skywalker trailer

When the Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker trailer dropped fans were treated to an emotional tease of Carrie Fisher’s highly-anticipated presence in the film. Princess Leia and Rey are seen sharing an embrace that has Rey in tears and will undoubtedly leave moviegoers reaching for tissues as well.

But what you see on screen is the result of take upon take, as Daisy Ridley describes it as a much more comical moment between her and the late Carrie Fisher than we’d have guessed. In her words:

She was actually whispering, ‘This is a fucking long hug.’ I was trying to do my acting, like, ‘Oh my god, Carrie!’ There wasn’t any discussion about what we were gonna do.

Well, that's amazing. Carrie Fisher was known to be a great personality with a sense of humor, and love for a swear word or two. So it’s then no better tribute to the actress than remembering this in between the wistful on-screen scene that looks to be on the way. Sounds like she was a blast to work with, always taking time to get her co-stars laughing and not taking the shoot too seriously. Ridley sounds truly lucky to have worked with her so closely.

In her recent interview with Vulture, Daisy Ridley was also asked if she remembered the original context of the previously unused Force Awakens scenes now being used for Rise of Skywalker to wrap up Leia’s storyline. She responded with:

I do! It’s not a million miles away from what this scene is. It was very sad. I found it very moving to watch it, because I do remember the original. And it’s a strange thing to do, for someone that’s not around anymore to be brought back to life. It’s eerie that it resonates so much with what the story is this time. It’s pretty amazing.

It’s pretty clever how J.J. Abrams has decided to weave old, never-before-seen footage to wrap up the Skywalker Saga, even after Carrie Fisher’s passing in 2016. The director recently discussed the “surreal challenge” the production faced after her death but thankfully discovered many scenes they had shot and never placed in the other films could go quite well with Rise of Skywalker’s story.

Although bringing back Leia on-screen has been tough, it looks like she will have some memorable scenes, including with her real-life daughter Billie Lourd, who has played Lieutenant Connix in the trilogy and Oscar Isaac’s Poe as well.

Rise of Skywalker will also see the return of Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, John Boyega’s Finn, Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico, Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux and Lupita Nyong’o’s Maz Kanata, along with Mark Hamill’s Luke coming back as a Force Ghost and Billy Dee Williams returning to his Lando.

Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant, Dominic Monaghan and Naomi Ackie will play new characters in the universe and Ian McDiarmid’s Palpatine seems to play a vital role in the conclusion to the over 40-year-old Skywalker Saga.

Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20, 2019.

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