Most people associate actress Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Sadly, the iconic Fisher passed away in 2016 at 60 years old. So director J.J. Abrams decided to choose someone to step into the role. The director asked the late actress’s daughter Billie Lourd, 27, to shoot a scene as Fisher’s Princess Leia for the latest Star Wars film.
The scene was a flashback to a young Leia training with her brother Luke, played by Mark Hamill. Visual Effects Supervisor Patrick Tubach said, “It was an emotional thing for everybody to see her in that position,” Tubach continued. “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.”
Lourd revealed in an essay for Time her true thoughts about it all.
“I grew up with three parents: a mom, a dad and Princess Leia,” Lourd began her essay. “I guess Princess Leia was kind of like my stepmom–technically family, but deep down I didn’t really like her…. When Leia was around, there wasn’t as much room for my mom–for Carrie.”
“I didn’t want to watch her movie, I didn’t want to dress up like her, I didn’t even want to talk about her,” Lourd wrote. “I just wanted my mom–the one who lived on Earth.”
“I realized then that Leia is more than just a character. She’s a feeling. She is strength. She is grace. She is wit. She is femininity at its finest,” the Scream Queens star wrote. “She knows what she wants, and she gets it. She doesn’t need anyone to defend her, because she defends herself.”