When director J.J. Abrams released THE FORCE AWAKENS in 2015, that was supposed to be Abrams’ last sojourn into a galaxy far, far away. Rian Johnson went on to direct THE LAST JEDI and JURASSIC WORLD director Colin Trevorrow was supposed to take on the third and final installment in the sequel trilogy. However, due to the ubiquitous “creative differences” Trevorrow left the film, the first of several potential STAR WARS directors that have come and gone on various projects. With THE LAST JEDI being so divisive and THE FORCE AWAKENS a success with critics and fans, Disney made the safe move to bring back J.J. Abrams for THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. That fact is something Abrams never would have predicted, but apparently someone else did.
In a recent interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Abrams discussed his fondness for Carrie Fisher who tragically passed away in 2016. During the interview, Abrams offered this tidbit of information regarding his return straight from the Princess of Alderaan herself:
“I wasn’t supposed to work on this film. She passed away before Last Jedi was released. She wrote this autobiography, The Princess Diarist, and I remember reading in the end, a ‘special thanks to J.J, Abrams for putting up with me twice.’ I had never worked with her before Force Awakens and I wasn’t suppose to direct Episode IX. It was a very Carrie thing to write something like that and to somehow know. It was really strange.”
Strange indeed. In fact it’s a prescient statement from Fisher that almost feels Force like in nature. Carrie Fisher will of course be back for THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. Although Fisher died in 2016, Abrams was able to cobble together several unused scenes from THE FORCE AWAKENS and THE LAST JEDI for the upcoming final film. It remains to be seen how seamless Fisher’s insertion looks however, I’m sincerely glad they didn’t render her through CGI or recast the part. There’s only one Princess Leia and it’s Carrie Fisher.