It was wonderful to see Carrie Fisher back in the role of Leia one final time in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. They had to get creative as J.J. Abrams and his creative team had to build a story for her around leftover footage that wasn’t used in the previously made films. I think that they did a great job handling that.
Co-writer Chris Terrio recently talked about the film with The Hollywood Reporter and in it, he confirmed that one of the main goals of the movie was to make sure it solidified Leia’s legacy in the Skywalker saga. While discussing the final scene in the film that involved Luke and Leia Skywalker appearing to Rey on Tattooine as Force ghosts, Terrio explained why it was just these two characters at that moment and not everyone else:
“We absolutely discussed who would be there at the end. It’s not as though those Force ghosts will never appear to Rey now that she really is the first of the new Jedi. I think she has all of those Jedi behind her. J.J. was pretty clear about the idea that he didn’t want to take away from the moment of Leia finally appearing as a Force ghost and the twins finally being together. This might be in the novelization, but we talked a lot about how Leia lost her home. Alderaan is gone. So, she could never take Luke to see where she grew up as a princess, but Luke could’ve taken Leia to see where he grew up as a farmer. But, the twins never got to Tatooine together. So, the idea of seeing the twins together after the sabers are laid to rest felt like it was something that was very moving to me and J.J.”
I never really thought of that before, but it makes that moment so much sweeter. He also mentions the novelization of the film, which is sure to be filled with some additional insight into things. That won’t be released until March 3rd, 2020. Terrio went on to say that this film had to put Leia into the Jedi Pantheon:
“To circle back one of your earlier questions, besides the friends being together, I suppose our main goal of those first few weeks — because we were working largely with the Leia footage — was to fulfill the promise of “there is another” in this film. It has to put Leia into the Jedi pantheon. To do that without new footage of Leia was challenging, but that became the central story of Rey finishing the Jedi journey of Leia. That way, by the end of the film, Leia could join Luke as a Force Ghost and spiritually join her father and all the other Jedi.”
Terrio went on to explain why the rest of the Jedi didn’t appear in that moment at the end of the film, saying:
“While you only see the twins in that moment, we thought that would give Leia more centrality, and you would really feel the strength of seeing Leia in the Jedi afterlife for the first time. Spiritually, it’s not a crazy idea that all the Jedi would be standing with them, but it might’ve been a bit of a visual shock to see all these new characters on Tatooine who weren’t part of the story of Leia, Luke and Rey. It’s a fair question from fans because it’s a question that we debated endlessly — about what the final shot of Force ghosts would be. We spent hours and hours talking about this and debating it, and we decided that the moment when the Jedi have to be there for Rey, when it dramatically counts, is when she hears their voices. So, seeing them all at the end would be a lovely grace note, but we thought that Rey seeing her two masters, two Skywalkers, was stronger. Rey was in the unique position of having been trained by two Skywalkers, which is what’s going on in the moment where she destroys the Emperor. It’s her, Luke and Leia standing together because she’s got the two Skywalker sabers in her hands.”
Yeah, I can totally see and understand why they went in that direction. But still, it sure would have been cool to see all those Jedi Force ghosts! What are your thoughts on what they had to say here about The Rise of Skywalker solidifying Leia’s place in the saga as a Jedi?