With Star Wars: The Last Jedi now less than two months away, any little morsel of information that we can get is much appreciated (so long as it’s spoiler-free, of course). In a recent interview, director Rian Johnson opened up about what we can expect to see with Princess (General) Leia in the upcoming installment.
According to Johnson, Carrie Fisher was particularly attuned to the importance that her character served and continues to serve to the female fandom. With even more screen time dedicated to her than she had in The Force Awakens, Fisher seized the opportunity — through both her acting and her contributions to the script — to honor all those women who have been Star Wars fans for decades.
“She was so conscious of the place that Leia had, not just broadly in the culture, but very specifically in terms of girls who grew up watching Star Wars, when Leia was the only female hero on the screen. She really wanted to do right by that, drawing the character forward. That was something that she would always be pulling us back to.”
Johnson also acknowledged the large impact that the late Fisher had on the script, saying: “For me it was fantastic, because besides all the other benefits of having a fantastic writer like Carrie there by my side while we’re making this movie, (it was great) just having a voice that was like a compass needle….showing a fully realized character who is going to be inspiring to the folks who grew up with Leia.”
Not content to simply collect a paycheck, Fisher was dedicated to ensuring that her character was the absolute best she could be. Endless evenings were spent with her director hashing out the finer details of Leia’s emotions and concerns. She also worked with Johnson on crafting a deeper and more intricate narrative for the story, leading him to call her “a brilliant writer, with an incredible mind.”
Seeing Carrie Fisher’s final performance as one of cinema’s all-time greatest female characters will be emotional enough, but knowing that she put so much heart and soul into writing the best character she possibly could will only make it all the more potent. In her final acting achievement, Fisher placed enormous emphasis on ensuring that every female fan never again feels like Star Wars is just for the guys.