In an article posted on Vanity Fair, director J.J. Abrams, co-writer Chris Terrio, cinematographer Dan Mindel, visual effects lead Roger Guyett, and editor Maryann Brandon speak about the process that went into incorporating Carrie Fisher’s performance as General Leia into The Rise of Skywalker. The production team utilized unused footage/dialogue of Fisher from The Force Awakens and worked their collective magic to integrate the selected content into Episode IX as seamlessly as possible.
Princess Leia became General Organa, and finally she was known as Master Leia — but the woman who brought her to life was not there to complete the four-decade journey.
Carrie Fisher died on Dec. 27, 2016, a few months after completing work on The Last Jedi but nearly a year before it was released in theaters. Yet her final appearance in a Star Wars film came just weeks ago with The Rise of Skywalker, a movie that didn’t even have a script when she passed away.
By now, fans are well aware that unused scenes of Leia from The Force Awakens were repurposed to close the character’s story in Rise, but doing that meant more than just splicing shots from old deleted scenes into the action. The Leia in Rise has different hair, a different costume, and exists in an entirely different location than where Fisher shot.