From the Walt Disney World News and written by: Michele
Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd briefly played young Leia in The Rise of Skywalker
From Entertainment Weekly-
After Carrie Fisher’s tragic death in December 2016, the filmmakers behind Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker had to figure out how to tell a Star Wars story without one of the franchise’s key figures. Ultimately, director J.J. Abrams decided to write Fisher’s General Leia Organa into the narrative using about eight minutes of unused material from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
But there’s one Leia moment in The Rise of Skywalker that required a little more digital manipulation, and an assist from Fisher’s family. About halfway through the film — mild spoiler alert — there’s a brief flashback scene of Luke training Leia with lightsabers, as the princess studies to become a Jedi. In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, ILM visual effects supervisor Patrick Tubach confirmed that Luke is played by a digitally de-aged Mark Hamill, while Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, stepped in for her mom.
“Billie was playing her mother,” Tubach told Yahoo. “It was a poignant thing, and something that nobody took lightly — that she was willing to stand in for her mom.”
According to Tubach, it was Abrams who asked Lourd to take on the role, and together they filmed a few seconds for the scene. The visual effects team then replaced Lourd’s face with archival footage of Fisher, taken from the original trilogy.
“It was an emotional thing for everybody to see her in that position,” Tubach added. “It felt great for us, too. If you’re going to have someone play [Fisher’s] part, it’s great that it’s [Billie] because there are a lot of similarities between them that we were able to draw from. The real challenge was just making the Leia footage we had to work with fit in that scene.”
Before The Rise of Skywalker hit theaters, Lourd wrote an essay for Time, opening up about the experiencing of filming Star Wars without her mom and why she decided to reprise her role as Lieutenant Connix.
“I knew it would be one of the most painful, difficult things I would ever do, but I said yes for her — for my mom,” she said. “For Leia. For everyone Leia means so much to. For everyone Leia gives strength to.”
Thanks Entertainment Weekly for the scoop!
Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the book “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 96.5 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others.