After Carrie Fisher tragically passed away at the end of 2016, many fans were left wondering what this meant for her role in The Last Jedi — and beyond. Unfortunately, many of Leia's scenes were cut from The Force Awakens, but what we saw certainly set up an interesting role for her as the sequel arc unfolded. Specifically, the prospect of a reunion with her brother Luke Skywalker was a strong theme in #TheForceAwakens, with Leia doing everything she could to find her missing sibling.
Rumors of a reunion scene have been floating around the internet for months now, as well as a planned sequence in which Leia reunites with her errant son Kylo Ren. We've yet to discover how these plans will be affected by real life, and what was altered to reflect Fisher's passing. However, contained within the pages of Vanity Fair's special summer issue about #TheLastJedi was a tiny hint that Luke and Leia may well get their reunion scene after all.
While the article does not directly confirm that Leia will get her big reunion with Luke, contained within the pages is this behind-the-scenes photo of Carrie Fisher chilling on set with Mark Hamill, director Rian Johnson, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy — and Carrie's service dog Gary.
This photo establishes a crucial fact: Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill were present on the same set at Pinewood studios. Much of the Ahch-To scenes — where Luke trains Rey — were filmed on location on Skellig Michael Island. However, many other sequences were shot at Pinewood, meaning Fisher and Hamill spent a lot of time together rekindling "their benignly rancorous brother-sister dynamic."
Yet more hints come courtesy of Vanity Fair's entire section on Carrie Fisher; the magazine reveals that yes, just as fans suspected, Leia was planned to have a crucial role in Star Wars Episode IX, before her demise forced Lucasfilm to rewrite the script.
Fisher’s death doesn’t change anything about 'The Last Jedi' except make it more poignant: the film farewell of both the actress and the character. But it does change Episode IX, for which, as Fisher hoped, a central role for Leia had been planned.
However, those of you thrown into yet more fits of mourning (yes, I am one of these people) should take heart in the fact that Carrie Fisher had plenty to do in The Last Jedi. Vanity Fair confirms that Leia has a much larger role in Episode VIII than she did in The Force Awakens.
General Leia Organa logs significantly more screen time in Episode VIII than she did in VII. Isaac, who filmed several scenes with Fisher, said that, like Hamill, she delivered a rich performance, giving her all as an actor, rather than treating Leia’s part as an exercise in feel-good sentimentalism.
But, why was Fisher spending so much time with Oscar Isaac? Well, it seems that Leia's favorite Resistance flyboy has fallen out of favor with the great General. In Isaac's own words:
“We did this scene where Carrie has to slap me. I think we did 27 takes in all, and Carrie leaned into it every time, man. She loved hitting me. Rian found such a wonderful way of working with her, and I think she really relished it.”
Although Lucasfilm is hesitant to confirm or deny anything, Vanity Fair's behind-the-scenes visit certainly seems to suggest that we'll finally see Luke and Leia reunited onscreen again — though we may have to wait until December to find out for sure.
Tell us in the comments: Would you like to see a reunion between Luke and Leia in The Last Jedi?
(Credit: Vanity Fair)