The Secret Role Fisher's Daughter Had In The Rise Of Skywalker
Carrie Fisher's daughter played a much bigger role in The Rise of Skywalker than you might think.
After Fisher suddenly passed away from a heart attack in December 2016, director J.J. Abrams and the team behind The Rise of Skywalker were left with a unique challenge: how could they incorporate Fisher's iconic character General Leia Organa without the actress? Through some clever CGI tricks and a performer capable of following in Fisher's footsteps, the impossible became possible.
Unbeknownst to most, Billie Lourd, who appeared in The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker as junior communications coordinator Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix, also made an appearance in the final film of the Skywalker Saga as a young Leia during a crucial scene where the princess-turned-general trained in the ways of the Force.
In an interview with Yahoo!, visual effects supervisor Patrick Tubach confirmed that while Mark Hamill went through a de-aging process to look like a younger Luke Skywalker, Lourd stepped in to play Leia.
Rumors swirled for months that Lourd, whose Lieutenant Connix sports Leia's signature buns during her appearances on screen, would be playing a young Leia at some point during The Rise of Skywalker. Now, Tubach has confirmed those theories. Though Lourd's face isn't actually used in the final product it's a CGI rendering of what Fisher looked like in her youth everything else of her physical form is. He said:
"Billie was playing her mother. It was a poignant thing, and something that nobody took lightly that she was willing to stand in for her mom [...] It was an emotional thing for everybody to see her in that position. 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."
VFX supervisor Roger Guyett also told Yahoo:
"What you see is what we developed. 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." Keep watching the video to see the secret role Fisher's daughter had in The Rise of Skywalker!
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