The Rise of Skywalker VFX Team Breaks Down Leia’s Return in Star Wars

It was hard for many fans to hold back their tears while watching Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker when they saw Princess Leia Organa on the screen once again. Carrie Fisher’s sudden death soon after The Last Jedi opened many questions about her character’s future in the saga, but thanks to modern technology, fans had the chance to see a final tribute to Luke Skywalker’s sister. Speaking with Vanity Fair, the Rise of Skywalker VFX team analyzed some of the techniques they used to make Carrie Fisher’s return.

“We often used motion control,” visual effects supervisors Roger Guyett said. “You’ll notice that she has a different hairstyle, she’s wearing different wardrobe, all of those things. I always thought, when we were doing these shots, that everyone’s looking at her face. That was the thing that we held onto, and then we fixed everything else.”

You can watch part of The Rise of Skywalker VFX breakdown in the player below. A longer look is available in the original Vanity Fair article.

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As for that  flashback in which Leia and Luke are completing their training, the Industrial Light & Magic representatives relied on “the original dailies” from 1983’s Return of the Jedi. Eventually, the efforts earned the team a nomination at the Oscars. And when you watch other scenes like the seaside battle between Rey and Kylo Ren, it’s hard to argue that the Rise of Skywalker VFX team doesn’t have a high chance to bring the prestigious award home.

“The irony is that Dom Tuohy did all the water and that created the mood of that piece,” Guyett added. “But then we erased all of that [real] water because a water cannon does not behave like a wave hitting the side of that pier. So we got rid of all of that and then added our water back in that was behaving correctly. It sounds mad.”

What do you think about The Rise of Skywalker VFX? Do you believe that the movie will manage to bring home an Academy Award? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.