“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson added a touching new nugget to the intergalactic mythos by revealing that Carrie Fisher actually wrote some of General Leia Organa’s most memorable lines.
In an interview with People Magazine, Johnson said it was Fisher who came up with a joke Luke told about Leia’s change in hairstyle when they briefly reunited in the film.
“That was her,” Johnson said. “That was a Carrie Fisher line. Of course it was.”
Fisher’s unique voice and presence was brought to bear in virtually every scene she appeared in, Johnson said. and that he had compiled exhaustive notes from her on character, dialogue and plot ideas.
“I would sit down with her and she would just give me … After an hour, I would have filled up pages and pages writing down the notes and one-liners that she would pitch,” he said. “And so we tried to work them in whenever we could.”
When Leia refrained from telling Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) “may the force be with you” and instead saying, “you go, I’ve said it enough,” that was all Fisher, too.
Johnson said that his goal to include humor in the film was achieved thanks to Fisher. “I think that as ‘Star Wars’ fans, especially as adults, you can get into a mindset of wanting it to just be the heavy opera. And I don’t know, I was 10 years old when ‘Return of the Jedi’ came out. That was the perfect age for it. And the humor and the slight goofiness of it also, and kind of the slight free-wheeling feel of it, and how it’s unafraid to have fun, that to me is essential.”
The Fisher bonhomie contrasts with criticism the film has taken from its other legacy star, Mark Hamill, who has said Johnson’s interpretation of Luke Skywalker was incorrect and his actions in the film were not in-keeping with proper Jedi behavior.
“I said to Rian, I said ‘Jedi’s don’t give up’ I mean even if he had a problem, he would maybe take a year to try and regroup, but if he made a mistake he would try and right that wrong. So right there we had a fundamental difference,” said Hamill in a promotional interview for the film.
“This is the next generation of Star Wars, so I almost had to think of Luke as another character. Maybe he’s Jake Skywalker. He’s not my Luke Skywalker but I had to do what Rian wanted me to do because it serves the story well. I still haven’t accepted it completely.”