Rise of Skywalker Director J.J. Abrams Says Carrie Fisher's Character Is 'Heart of This Story'
The last Star Wars trilogy is almost complete — and Rey and Finn are facing their biggest villain yet.
A new poster for the highly-anticipated Episode IX debuted at D23 on Saturday with director J.J Abrams speaking on a panel to discuss the upcoming film.
“The character of Leia is really, in a way, the heart of this story. We realized we could not possibly tell the end of these nine films without Leia,” he said about Carrie Fisher’s iconic character. The movie marks Fisher’s last movie role, as she died shortly before the film started shooting.
“We realized that we had footage from Episode VII, and we could use it in a new way,” Abrams said.
Starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, the movie finishes up the Skywalker saga that George Lucas kicked off with 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope.
Last year, Abrams revealed that he planned to use previously “unseen footage” shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens of Fisher for the film. Fisher died on Dec. 26, 2016, after suffering a cardiac arrest on a flight.
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” Abrams said. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set to premiere on December 20, 2019.