Fans will be flocking back to theaters this holiday for more of The Last Jedi as it enters its second weekend, and today we have more from director Rian Johnson, who sheds new light on Carrie Fisher’s impact on the script. As many may know, Carrie Fisher had a successful second career as a writer, authoring a number of books and scripts while also serving as one of the most accomplished script doctors in Hollywood. During a new interview, director Rian Johnson reveals that Carrie Fisher helped write one of the most memorable scenes in the movie, involving General Leia. If you still haven’t seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there will be SPOILERS below, so read on at your own risk.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi featured several memorable scenes, but there are only a few that fans had been waiting more than 30 years for, one of which was the reunion between Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. Rian Johnson revealed in this new interview with The Daily Beast that her “fingerprints” are all over the script, including the one-liner joke she threw in during the Luke and Leia reunion scene. Here’s what the director had to say about this scene below.
“She loved one-liners and jokes. She could just pop out so many jokes. So the whole thing where she sits down with Luke and [says], ‘I changed my hair,’ obviously, that was her.”
Despite this moment of levity, director Rian Johnson reveals that, behind-the-scenes, the cast and crew were just so engrossed in watching this scene transpire. The director revealed that it was normally a very upbeat set, but added that when this scene was being filmed, it felt like “church.” Here’s what the director had to say about the filming of this important scene below.
“It’s bizarre because, you know, obviously we didn’t know that it was gonna be a farewell scene. And it’s odd because I remember when we were shooting the Luke-Leia scene, it felt like church on set. It was usually a jovial set, you know, a really happy, bouncy set. And that day, everyone was just quiet and just watching these two. It was like a hush over the whole set, it really did feel like church. I remember there being a weight to the whole thing and we all just felt like, we’re seeing something really special happen. In a way that it never, ever was on the set for us. There was, very weirdly, weight.”
The director also spoke about Leia’s final scene in the film, where the Resistance has been decimated, with Rey asking how they can build a rebellion with what little they have left, to which Leia replies, “We have everything we need.” When asked about her performance, the director speaks about how lucky everyone was to have her there. Here’s what he had to say below.
“Now when I watch [Fisher’s performance], of course, it’s… I mean, it’s complicated. It’s very complicated. I feel very-God, I feel lucky, you know? I feel lucky to have this performance from her, I feel lucky we had those moments with her. I feel so lucky that her last moments in the movie, which are at the very end of the movie, are words of hope given to Rey, given to us. Yeah. God. I wish she was here to see it.”
There was also another scene that actually was co-written by both Laura Dern and Carrie Fisher, the touching good-bye scene between their characters, Admiral Holdo and Leia. When Leia bids farewell to Holdo, Leia says there is “So much loss” and that “I can’t take anymore. The Holdo line, “Sure you can, you taught me how” came from Laura Dern, “channeling her deep admiration” of her co-star. Johnson reveals that their next exchange was Fisher’s idea, where they both go to say “May the Force…” but stop mid-sentence. Here’s what the director had to say.
“And then they both say, ‘May the Force be with you, always’ together,” Johnson remembers. “That was Carrie, too. That whole Holdo scene, that goodbye scene was actually completely rewritten with Carrie and with Laura,” he explains. “The three of us got together and worked through it. And the real heart of that scene came from Laura. It was her saying, ‘I just feel like, from my character to Leia, but also me to Carrie, I want to express what she means to me. I want to express my gratitude.’ That’s one that may be the most powerful, oddly for me, especially now watching them. I’m just so happy we were able to get that.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is already a massive box office hit, taking in $600 million worldwide in just a week in theaters. It will certainly pass Beauty and the Beast as the highest grossing movie of the year. Take a look at the full report from The Daily Beast. Be sure to check back on Sunday to see how The Last Jedi fares in its second weekend in theaters.