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Rian Johnson hopes Leia's Last Jedi story offers emotional satisfaction

Carrie Fisher Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Crafting a STAR WARS film has got to be tough enough by itself, but STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI director Rian Johnson can't have expected that his film would carry the unexpected burden of saying goodbye to the galaxy's most beloved princess. Carrie Fisher had completed work on THE LAST JEDI prior to her tragic passing, but it was expected that the actress would have a much bigger part to play in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX, meaning that Leia's story was never meant to conclude quite so soon. Rian Johnson had previously said that Leia's story "wraps up nicely" in THE LAST JEDI, but while speaking with Good Morning America, the director didn't want to sound quite so definitive.

Well, I mean, I guess that sounds a little definitive. I'll say I think that Carrie gives a really beautiful performance in the film, and we obviously didn't make the movie to be her final film - her final Star Wars movie. Given that, though, I think there are scenes that she has that are gonna mean a lot to people. And there are scenes that we have with her where, now, not having her around, I watch them and I think I'm just really thankful that we have that and we can give that to people. So, yeah, wraps up nicely? I don't know. But emotionally gives some kind of catharsis, it gives some kind of emotional satisfaction? I think so. I really hope so. I know for me it does.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy previously said that Carrie Fisher was "having a blast" filming STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, and the minute that principal photography wrapped up, "she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ Because Harrison was front and center on VII, and Mark is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been." It's tough to imagine what could have been, but I've got no doubt that Fisher's memory will be honoured, although I certainly don't envy Rian Johnson's task of making sure Leia is given a little bit of closure.

Disney's D23 Expo may have wrapped up yesterday, but it left behind quite a number of STAR WARS goodies, including the lovely behind-the-scenes featurette which you can view above, a handful of character posters, a peek at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, a fourteen-acre STAR WARS themed area which is being developed at both Disneyland and Disneyworld, and the announcement of a Westworld-style STAR WARS resort which will aim to be an entirely immersive experience and make guests feel like they're a part of the STAR WARS universe.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI will hit theaters on December 15, 2017.

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