In General Leia Organa’s final appearance in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (opens in new tab), she’ll be adding to the family dynamic by mentoring Poe Dameron, in what is sure to be an emotional experience - it certainly was for Oscar Isaac looking back. The new film may make headlines for its lightsabers, Luke’s chilling voiceover in the Star Wars 8 trailer (opens in new tab) and lots more beside that but, deep down, the movie is going to be about family, blood-ties or otherwise.
“Poe is in some ways a surrogate son for Leia,” Oscar Isaac offers to EW (opens in new tab), “But also I think she sees in him the potential for a truly great leader of the Resistance and beyond.”
With Han gone and Kylo lost to the Dark Side, Leia is clearly looking to plug that familial gap. As this is Carrie Fisher’s last official appearance in a galaxy far, far away it takes on a certain bittersweet quality that she’ll end her time in Star Wars by influencing the next generation of heroes.
As Isaac explains, “I think Leia knows she won’t be around forever and she, with tough love, wants to push Poe to be more than the badass pilot, to temper his heroic impulses with wisdom and clarity.” Hopefully it won’t be as tough as Carrie Fisher slapping Isaac 27 times on set (opens in new tab).
Knowing the kindness and warmth of Carrie Fisher, though, it’s no surprise that Isaac and Fisher’s bond extended to when the cameras quit rolling.
“One of my favorite things that would happen from time to time on set would be when Carrie would sing old songs,” Isaac remembers, “Whenever that would happen I would offer her my hand and we would waltz around the set – on a starship, in a Rebel base, on an alien planet, and she would sing and we would dance. So surreal and beautiful to think about now. For all of her delicious, wicked humor and fiery energy she also had such sweet grace. I miss her dearly.”
Carrie Fisher may be gone but, as Star Wars: The Last Jedi is eager to hammer home, her legacy as Princess Leia will last forever.