even if it is you love or hated Rogue One, there’s no denying that the digitally recreated Peter Cushing was a shock. Digitally de-aging Carrie Fisher because that a Leia cameo at the movie’s end was one thing; digitally happen a person ago from the dead crossed a threshold.

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Following Carrie Fisher’s death in 2016, a year prior to the release of Star Wars: The last Jedi, the concern of exactly how to handle Leia’s unfinished storyline ended up being a specifically concerning one, with the uncanny pictures of Rogue One quiet on fans’ minds. Fisher had finished shooting she scenes because that The last Jedi, yet hadn’t completed part dialogue re-recording in post-production, which intended that director Rian Johnson had actually to stitch her formerly recorded currently together. A single scene — that of Leia paris through space — was developed digitally; the rest was every the real Fisher. So wherein did that leave Leia’s arc because that The increase of Skywalker?

In an interview ~ above the release of The critical Jedi, Lucasfilm chairman Kathleen Kennedy said that the agency had no intention to store using CGI duplicates of actors, and also that Fisher wouldn’t appear even in archival footage. “Sadly, Carrie will certainly not be in <Episode> IX,” she said Vanity fair in December 2017.

Fisher and also director Rian Johnson (left) on the set of The last Jedi. Photo: David James/Lucasfilm yet plans changed between then and also now, as Leia theatre a fairly prominent — if additionally somewhat strange — component in the critical Star battles film. “When we looked in ~ the clip from The pressure Awakens,” manager J. J. Abrams said during the Rise of Skywalker press tour, “and realized we had a variety of scenes we can use, and write scenes around, it was all of sudden like, ‘Oh mine God, we might tell the story through Leia in the film.’”

The leftover clip amounted to eight minutes, according to Fisher’s brother Todd Fisher. It to be a matter of reverse-engineering from there, structure scenes approximately Leia’s present dialogue rather than composing them linearly. “Hopefully, if the works, it will certainly be one invisible thing and also if you didn’t know, you would never know,” Abrams said. “But we obtained to phone call the story v Leia that we would have actually told had actually Carrie lived. And also that’s kind of incredible.”

Unfortunately, the result isn’t fairly as smooth as all that.

<Ed. Note: significant spoilers for Star Wars: The increase of Skywalker follow.>

Fisher in The force Awakens. Image: Lucasfilm/Disney early in The increase of Skywalker, Leia’s dialogue inevitably feels stilted, as if she’s no a part of the very same conversation as the character she’s an alleged to be speak to. She scenes through Rey feel prefer something out of the new video-game-set Jumanji movies; Leia is the Rhys Darby equivalent, one NPC compelled to speak in box lines quite than actually responding to those being said to her. She also has a bit of digital fuzz approximately her — the filmmakers have actually yet come speak specifically about how lock repurposed Fisher’s old footage — and she always appears in the very same standing position.

The stitching with each other is much less alarming 보다 a recall in i m sorry a young Luke and Leia space partaking in lightsaber cultivate in a special forest. The two of castle are at first wearing helmets, but then lift your visors up, revealing your digitally recreated faces. Both look strange, however Leia specifically so — she looks eerily together if billie Lourd (Fisher’s daughter, and a minor player in the new Star battles trilogy) had stood in because that the role, and had her attributes digitally altered to look more like Fisher’s. It’s basically that terrifying Rogue One moment everywhere again.

The recall is especially egregious due to the fact that the reveal is one unnecessary one — the narration has currently told united state which characters we’re feather at, for this reason there’s no real need for united state to check out Fisher’s CGI face. The repurposed clip at least feels justifiable, as each member of the Skywalker family members figures prominently right into the finish of the brand-new trilogy, and also having Leia missing would be much more noticeable than having actually her Frankensteined into the movie.

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“There was no way, together I’ve claimed before, to tell the story there is no Leia,” Abrams reiterated during the tour. “It’s the Skywalker saga. She is the living Skywalker in our story. Girlfriend don’t desire to start the story and say something taken place to her in in between movies. It didn’t feel right.”

While it would certainly be strange to have such a major character die off-screen, Leia’s arc in The rise of Skywalker feel less around her than about Ben/Kylo Ren. Leia uses the an extremely last of she life force to turn her son, and also the flashback also reveals that she gave up her Jedi training because she had actually a vision about Ben’s fate. The a sidelining the feels favor the result of Abrams having minimal footage to work with, regardless of the truth that Leia’s reappearance as a force ghost confirms that she to be truly associated to the Force. Had actually Fisher to be alive, would certainly Leia’s arc have actually felt more fleshed out?

That said, offered that the Skywalker Saga has pertained to an end, Lucasfilm should have actually an simpler time keeping its initial promise that no more CGI actors.