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Carrie Fisher’s daughter played young Leia in ‘Rise of Skywalker’

/ 02:05 PM January 08, 2020
Billie Lourd with Carrie Fisher

Billie Lourd had the chance to stand in for her late mom in “Rise of Skywalker.” Image: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File

(Editor’s note: This article contains spoilers.)

Billie Lourd did not just star alongside her late mom, Carrie Fisher, in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”—she also had the chance to play her.

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Visual effects supervisor Patrick Tubach revealed to Yahoo Entertainment in a report today, Jan. 8, that director J.J. Abrams tapped Lourd to step in as a younger Leia in a flashback scene.

Though the scene lasted for only a few seconds, Tubach said, ”Billie was playing her mother. It was a poignant thing, and something that nobody took lightly — that she was willing to stand in for her mom.”

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The scene in “Rise of Skywalker” involved Luke Skywalker and Leia training with their lightsabers. Mark Hamill reprised his role, with his face de-aged through technology. While Lourd played Fisher’s role, footage of Fisher from “Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” was used to put the late actress’ face on young Leia.

Fisher, who passed away in December 2016, also appeared in “Rise of Skywalker” as General Leia Organa. Eight minutes of unused footage from “The Force Awakens” made that possible, Fisher’s brother Todd told Yahoo in November. Lucasfilm decided not to cast another actress or make a digital re-creation of her. 

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Lourd stars in the latest Star Wars trilogy as Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix, a junior controller for the Resistance. She requested scenes with her mom in the latest film even if Abrams thought she would be uncomfortable with it.

“‘I want to be in scenes with her. I want it for my children when I have kids. I want them to see,’” “Rise of Skywalker” director J.J. Abrams recalled Lourd telling him in a Vanity Fair interview last May.

Shooting was “emotional” for Lourd at times, with scenes requiring to talk or even touch each other. “She would get emotional and sort of have to excuse herself for a minute,” he said. “I know it was hard for her for a while.” Niña V. Guno /ra

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TAGS: Billie Lourd, Carrie Fisher, JJ Abrams, Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars
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