Sunday, December 17, 2017

Rian Johnson Explains Leia's Big Moment in 'The Last Jedi'

By: Dominic Jones


Perhaps the most bittersweet aspect of Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the fact that it was Carrie Fisher's final performance as Leia Organa, her most iconic character.  Fisher passed away unexpectedly last December after suffering a cardiac arrest.  Fortunately all her scenes for the film had been shot and the filmmakers chose not to alter her role in the film to reflect the actress' passing.  And Leia had some iconic moments in the new film.  Perhpas her biggest moment came following an attack by the First Order on her Resistance cruiser when she was thrown out into space.  She then used the Force to return herself to safety.  This was the first time we have seen character actively using the Force (despite the revelation that she was Force-sensitive coming in Return of the Jedi).

The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson spoke about his thought process behind this scene in a special live Q&A with Entertainment Weekly's Anthony Breznican, saying,

"I liked the idea it would be an instinctual thing. This would be more like stories you hear about parents of toddlers who get caught under cars and they get Hulk strength and lift the car up.

It would be something in these final moments to show that she’s not done with the fight. And like a drowning person pulling herself back, that’s how it manifests itself for the first time in her."

Leia's Force-flight was a powerful moment, and something I had always wanted to see from the character.  It was beautiful to see.  But the really emotional scene with Leia came later in the film when she was "reunited" with her brother Luke Skywalker.  Lines like "I'm just glad you're here at the end" and "no one is ever really gone" took on extra meaning given what happened to Fisher last year and brought me to tears in the theater.  Johnson and Fisher did a wonderful job creating the character's arc in the film and while I'm heart broken that we won't see her again, this was a beautiful send off for the character and the actress who brought her to life.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters now.

Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.


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