Billie Lourd Played Leia in a Rise of Skywalker Scene

Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker!

Watching Carrie Fisher play Princess Leia one last time in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was bittersweet. Fisher’s 2016 passing obviously cast a shadow over the movie’s production. But thankfully, the filmmakers were able to rework deleted scenes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens to give Leia a proper sendoff. However, there was one scene in particular where Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, stepped in play the Alderaanian princess.

Lourd, who was already appearing in the sequel trilogy as Resistance Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix, filled in for her late mother while shooting a flashback. The scene depicted a younger Luke and Leia honing their lightsaber skills. The visual effects team later superimposed Fisher’s original trilogy-era face onto Lourd’s, similar to what was done in Rogue One. According to ILM’s VFX supervisor Patrick Tubach (via Yahoo), having Lourd step into her mother’s shoes was the logical choice.

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“It was a poignant thing, and something that nobody took lightly — that she was willing to stand in for her mom,” said Tubach. “It was an emotional thing for everybody to see her in that position [and] it felt great for us, too. If you’re going to have someone play [Fisher’s] part, it’s great that it’s [Billie] because there are a lot of similarities between them that we were able to draw from. The real challenge was just making the Leia footage we had to work with fit in that scene.”

Tubach also confirmed that Mark Hamill himself played the younger Luke through de-aging technology. Unfortunately, anyone wanting to see more of Leia’s Jedi training shouldn’t get their hopes up.

“What you see is what we developed,” added VFX supervisor Roger Guyett. “The idea was to provide this great surprise where they take the helmets off, and you see Luke and Leia’s younger faces. We scoured outtakes from the original movies, and we took some pieces and then had to try and figure out the technical aspect of putting that shot together.”

What did you think of the flashback scene in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? Was this a fitting tribute to Carrie Fisher? Let us know in the comments below!

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