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Carrie Fisher’s Daughter Played Young Leia In Rise Of Skywalker

by : Emily Brown on : 08 Jan 2020 10:58
Carrie Fisher's Daughter Played Young Leia In Rise Of SkywalkerCarrie Fisher's Daughter Played Young Leia In Rise Of SkywalkerPA Images

Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, stepped into her mother’s shoes to play a young Leia Organa in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. 

The beloved actor who initially brought Princess Leia to life sadly passed away in 2016, but with her character being such a staple of the franchise the creators were determined to continue including her in the films.

Rather than having a new actor fill the role for The Rise Of Skywalker, director J.J. Abrams relied on unused material Fisher had filmed for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi to create her scenes.

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Carrie Fisher in Star WarsCarrie Fisher in Star WarsLucasfilm

This worked well for the most part, however when it came to filming one scene for the latest release, creators couldn’t rely on old footage alone.

Warning – mild spoiler alert below!

Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill in Star WarsCarrie Fisher and Mark Hamill in Star WarsLucasfilm
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About halfway through the trilogy’s finale, a flashback scene shows Luke training Leia to become a Jedi using lightsabers; a scene that in theory would have taken place in a post-Return of the Jedi era.

While Mark Hamill, aka Luke Skywalker, was able to play a young Luke – with the help of some de-aging technology – creators needed someone to act as Leia in training.

Abrams decided to keep the role in the family and offered the position to Fisher’s daughter, Lourd. The 27-year-old followed in her mother’s footsteps by becoming an actor, and she’s no stranger to the Star Wars world as she also plays Resistance lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix in the sequel trilogy.

Billie Lourd in Star WarsBillie Lourd in Star WarsLucasfilm
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Lourd accepted the job and filmed the scene, which was later edited so Lourd’s face was digitally replaced by a younger version of Fisher.

ILM Visual Effects Supervisor Patrick Tubach confirmed the casting to Yahoo! News and admitted while the scene only lasted for a few seconds in the film, the creation of it was something special.

He commented:

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 [Lourd] 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.

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The scene was kept short due to limitations of the archival footage of Fisher, though creators successfully managed to surprise viewers with the young faces of Luke and Leia, which were revealed in The Rise of Skywalker when the characters took off their helmets.

Visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett said Lourd could be used to portray her mother again in future Star Wars movies, though he admitted it’s up to the 27-year-old to decide whether she wants to do so.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Film and TV, Billie Lourd, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Princess Leia, Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars

Credits

Yahoo News
  1. Yahoo News

    Billie Lourd played Leia Organa and other visual effects secrets from 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'