**SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ ON IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI**
To start with, it’s no spoiler to say that Carrie Fisher is pretty bloomin’ awesome in The Last Jedi. As Princess Leia, she continues to guide the Rebellion, even as it looks to be in its death throes, and inspires her small but spirited army in the fight against the First Order and her angsty son Kylo Ren.
But Fisher, who passed away last December, isn’t just the heart and soul of this film – she’s actually the architect of several of its best lines.
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We already knew that writer/director Rian Johnson had called upon the actress’s talents when he was putting together the script. But in an interview with the Daily Beast, he has elaborated on the lines that Fisher contributed to – and they’re some of the film’s most poignant moments.
(NB. We’re going to give you one more chance to look away if you haven’t seen the film and want to avoid spoilers)
The gently comic yet touching exchange between Leia and Luke – when they come face-to-face in the closing stages for the first time since 1983’s Return of the Jedi – is the product of Fisher’s genius. “She loved one-liners and jokes,” Johnson explains. “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.”
Fisher also inadvertently helped to craft the farewell between Leia – now known as General Organa – and Laura Dern’s violet-haired Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo.
In the scene, Leia says the line: “So much loss. I can’t take any more,” to which Holdo replies: “Sure you can. You taught me how.”
Dern herself invented that line, according to Johnson, in tribute to her admiration for Fisher. Holdo then attempts to say “May the Force…” but falters, and Leia hits back with “You go, I’ve said enough.”
But the pair then both say, “May the Force be with you, always” in unison.
“That was Carrie, too,” Johnson confirms. “That whole Holdo scene, that goodbye scene was actually completely rewritten with Carrie and with Laura. 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.”
Sadly, all such scenes have since taken on an extra layer of poignancy in light of Fisher’s passing last year. The actress suffered a heart attack on a flight from London to New York and died on 27th December 2016. She had completed filming on The Last Jedi before her death and filmmakers decided to stick with the movie’s original storyline.