Discovering unseen and unused footage of Carrie Fisher made it possible for director J.J. Abrams to include the late actress in “Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker”.
Speaking with Australian news show “The Project”, Abrams says it was sheer luck that the footage filmed during “The Force Awakens” fit into the latest film.
“The reality that we had the material that was actually her saying things that we needed her to say was vaguely, weirdly miraculous,” he says. Abrams explains that while the existing footage was useful, “had we had her around… we would have done a few different things. We would have added some stuff that would have been great.”
“And she would be here today, which would make the day much more fun,” he adds. Fisher died on December 27, 2016, at age 60 following a sudden cardiac arrest.
“The Rise Of Skywalker” actor Richard E. Grant initially expressed his doubts over repurposing old footage of Fisher for the new film.
“To kind of exhume that footage from another movie and if it wasn’t good enough for the other movie, why should it be good enough for the end?” he asks in the same interview with “The Project”. But after seeing the final film, Grant says the use of the footage worked out seamlessly.
“All those caveats or anxieties I had about it were completely put to rest when I saw how they’d done it. It is seamless,” he says.
The footage of Fisher allows Leia to interact with the actress’ real-life daughter, Billie Lourd, who plays Lieutenant Connix in the trilogy.
“There are moments where they’re talking; there are moments where they’re touching,” Abrams explains. “There are moments in this movie where Carrie is there, and I really do feel there is an element of the uncanny, spiritual, you know, classic Carrie, that it would have happened this way, because somehow it worked. And I never thought it would.”