A new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (opens in new tab) behind-the-scenes feature has offered an emotional glimpse into Billie Lourd’s stand-in scenes as her mother Carrie Fisher’s character General Leia Organa.
As shown on Good Morning America, the preview for “The Skywalker Legacy,” the documentary included as part of the Rise of Skywalker digital release on March 17, includes shots of a teary-eyed Daisy Ridley and a stoic J.J. Abrams filming the very first Leia scene without Carrie Fisher, a process that was achieved through special effects and more practical methods, such as mimicking the lighting of unused Leia footage in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (opens in new tab).
“We don’t have the most important person with us,” Abrams said while addressing the cast and crew prior to Rise of Skywalker’s first Leia scene. “The reality of having to do a scene with someone who isn’t actually there is challenging,” Ridley added.
It’s Lourd, though, who had the unique – and heartwrenching – task of stepping into the shoes her mother made so famous across multiple decades.
“Being back has been incredible, painful, surreal – all of the adjectives you could come up with, probably, I felt,” Loud said.
We even get to see Lourd, for the very first time, swinging a lightsaber, portraying a younger Leia in training during post-Return of the Jedi flashback scenes. The sequence also used Return of the Jedi outtakes, something that was confirmed by VFX supervisor Roger Guyett back in January. (opens in new tab)
Throughout, it’s clear that the reverence everyone holds for Fisher and Lourd is immense. Whatever your thoughts on Episode 9 – it ultimately did right by Leia, a powerful presence to the very end.
Relive the Skywalker Saga with our guide on how to watch the Star Wars movies in order (opens in new tab)