Episode VII to Episode IX
With the loss of Carrie Fisher fans often discuss what from The Force Awakens might be repurposed into new sequences for The Rise of Skywalker. When the tragic and unfortunate loss of Fisher occured, Episode IX had a different director and script. When Abrams returned, he was obviously extremely familiar with what was cut from the film, shot and not used from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. So while writing the final chapter to the sequel trilogy, it stands to reason that Abrams and Chris Terrio were able to delegate lines and actions Fisher had in the 7th film for the character to appear in new moments.
Old Research May Tell Us Something
I went back into some of my old notes from the 2015 era and dug up what I learned back then that could potentially be used for the final installment of The Skywalker Saga. My best guess to examine what may be in the final film were notes taken from the schedule of the film back then. We know the subject of the shots in these notes. There could have been a lot of additional “B roll” shot and improvised moments to also fill in the content. It was also said that Fisher was slow to get back into the swing of acting which might have also left fragments of usable material, however, that is completely conjecture on my part. The scenes discussed here are scenes I believe to have been shot and while there may be others, I can’t say with certainty they were filmed.
The Breadth of These Scenes is Unknown
Most of these cut moments are not available to see on the Blu-ray for The Force Awakens. So we could easily oversell the length of these moments or undersell them. Most of the time we just don’t know how extensive they were. So keep that in mind when checking it out and I don’t believe we can actually guess this very accurately but we can at least take a look at it for fun and try and imagine what Leia has going on in those moments and how they might play into The Rise of Skywalker. I look forward to hearing your ideas about how these moments might be reused in the final Skywalker film.
Leia Sequences Known to MakingStarWars.net
229 – Finn meets The Queen. They want to know what he knows.
This sequence featuring General Leia had Finn essentially interrogated about the First Order’s plans it would seem. So she clearly asked some questions of the former Stormtrooper. This moment took place before Finn attended the briefing on how to blow up Starkiller base.
245 – Rose thinks special thing should be with the boy. Tells The Queen.
It can get confusing but Rose was the code name for Maz Kanata, and has nothing to do with YouTube’s favorite character from The Last Jedi. Rey having rejected the lightsaber during the “Force Back” sequence, Maz apparently still believes the Skywalker saber should end up in Rey’s hands and knows if Finn has it, it is likely to end up back in Rey’s hands when the Force needs it to. Leia may comment on this is an uncut version of the sequence. Maybe Rey tries to return the saber to her and she gives it back to Rey?
246 – Leia gives Finn the Sword. Han promises to hurry back.
We have a moment where Leia presents the Lightsaber to Finn. So with that we have at least two moments of Leia handing a lightsaber over to other characters. The Han moment is in the final cut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
287 – Gliv confirms their cannons are down. Leia sends in surprise.
288 – General relays news of an incursion to one of his Star Destroyers
289 – Peaceful above the Evil Castle. Two Star Destroyers on patrol
This moment has Leia unleashing her secret weapon. I believe this moment may have inspired the sequence in Rogue One where the Rebellion uses the Hammerhead-class ship against the Empire. In the sequences of 287-289 it seems The First Order thinks things are quiet and then Leia’s surprise which was codenamed the “sledgehammers” and “steamrollers.” It sounds like Hammerhead-class ships even having hammer in the name and the function is ostensibly the same as well. The ships push through the Star Destroyers making an opening for the attack on Starkiller base in the next sequences. There’s the possibility Leia had reactions shot or even gave orders during these sequences which could prove beneficial to having Leia lead an attack in The Rise of Skywalker.
290 – Captain Trilla reports in. All fine. Then something…
291 – Steamroller smashes its way past Star Destroyers
292 – Everything goes sideways in the ND Star Destroyer
293 – Plates required for dogfight as Sledgehammer arrives
294 – General (Hux) says launch the array, without care for his own
295 – Plates for Sledgehammer closer, Poe’s ride is hit
296 – Poe made aware of a sudden new threat
297 – Plates for array missiles launched against the Pirates
299 – Plates for Sledgehammer coming apart. X-Wings getting hit
300 – Poe tells his team to clear out!
301 – Gliv reports the bad news about the sledgehammer
303 – Leia sadly tells all units to withdraw
304 – Poe tries to resist Leia’s order to quit
Leia sends in her Hammerhead-class ships. Things are looking pretty good in the battle but then Hux activates the array which to me always sounded like a weapon that basically shot something from Starkiller Base which then blasted shrapnail or laser lines across the battlefield taking out the Resistance and The First Order fighters. The significant moments that could pertain to The Rise of Skywalker is that Leia has moments here where she orders the fleet to withdraw and obviously reacted to the carnage and ruthlessness of General Hux and The First Order.
305 – Leia tells Poe his team is all that’s left. They must go hide.
Leia telling Poe that his team is all that is left sounds a lot like what essentially happens in The Last Jedi for most of Poe’s arc. We have Poe resisting orders while Leia has to convince him to use his head and save lives and the ability to fight another day. After Poe learns this lesson in The Last Jedi, you wouldn’t think he would still have that issue to be able to use in The Rise of Skywalker. But maybe it could be repurposed into a moment where she reminds him and he knows? Or it could simply make up a moment in the film where it appears all is lost.
309 – Leia thrilled to hear that Han is still on the case!
331 – Leia has felt what has happened at Evil Castle.
350 – Leia and Kira have a fond farewell.
The moments above are in The Force Awakens but I’ve always wondered if they might have been expanded and cut down in the final film. 331 is when Leia feels that Han has died on Starkiller Base. 350 pertains to Leia and “Kira” aka Rey hugging, which appears to have been reused again as seen in The Rise of Skywalker teaser:
The moment from the teaser where it appears to be Leia looking at Han Solo’s medals could be entirely new or it could be part of a moment listed above such as “Leia has felt what has happened at Evil Castle.” We don’t know how long those moments went on for and how little was used in the final film. The medals being new or old is something I am dying to know about.
Please feel free to look at what I had in my notes from The Force Awakens and see if you can maybe put together how they’re using Leia in the The Rise of Skywalker. Hopefully as we will get more indications as trailers come to SDCC/D23 and so on this year. Hopefully the notes above help the community dive into the mystery a bit more.
It really is unfortunate we lost Carrie and this article has to exist at all. But thankfully she left behind work that can be used to finish off Leia’s story and that of her family’s in the Star Wars Saga. The character goes from a baby in a moment in the prequel trilogy to princess and senator to a general. The character always has a complicated family being a Skywalker. So I’m looking forward to learning how the Skywalker’s atone and put the galaxy back together after Anakin’s fall in Revenge of the Sith. All in all, it will be nice to see how General Leia helps her family bring atonement to the galaxy.