There's a very specific reason "The Last Jedi" didn't do *that* with General Leia
If you went into Star Wars: The Last Jedi expecting to closure with Carrie Fisher’s General Leia, you certainly got some. She gave a beautiful final performance as the strong-as-hell space heroine, and not only did she help save the remaining members of the Resistance, but she also passed her leadership mantle over to her chosen one, Poe Dameron (even though she did kinda shoot him). While we were thrilled to see her reunited with Rey and the Millennium Falcon at the very end of the movie, it’s hard not to talk about the fact that, sadly, in real life Fisher passed away. So why didn’t Leia die during The Last Jedi?
First, be honest, did you want to see Leia die during The Last Jedi? Oh no. Never in a million years, because that would honestly be TOO SAD — and also like, spoiler warnings from here on out, friends.
The Last Jedi keeps Leia alive, and whenever the next Star Wars film, Episode IX, picks up, it’s…well, assumed Leia will still be alive in the film? Maybe? No one’s sure, but there’s still time to figure that out. It certainly would have been easier, story plotting wise, to send the General off with a fitting tribute — and the film actually gave us a moment where we were pretty sure Leia was going to die. Then she’s saved at the last second. There’s a reason for all of this.
Talking with The Hollywood Reporter following the film, director Rian Johnson explained that he certainly thought about changing the film to work in Fisher’s passing, but in the end, decided that wouldn’t be fair to her final performance, or to the fans.
As for what happens next, Johnson is leaving that in the hands of returning director, J.J. Abrams. He’s going to finish out this trilogy, and somehow, Leia will be there in spirit. “We have a fantastic storyteller in J.J. Abrams who is going to figure out a way to bring it home in the end,” he continued. “That’s going to be satisfying, I know he’s going to.”
We’re already excited for Episode IX. How far away is December 20th, 2019?