Here's how "Rogue One" got THAT cameo into the movie
If you’ve seen Rogue One, you know how it ends — and if you haven’t seen it, I’m about to spoil one of the biggest Star Wars surprises to come out of that galaxy far, far away in quite some time. As Scarif is destroyed below, high up above the Rebels are rushing to get the Death Star plans safety into the hands of the best guardian for them: Princess Leia. Yup, Princess Leia shows up in Rogue One, and I know what you’re thinking…
The ending of Rogue One directly ties into the very beginning of Star Wars Episode IV, A New Hope. There’s probably like, 15 minutes between the end of Rogue One and the beginning of A New Hope, and that’s crazy. What’s even crazier is the fact that Princess Leia is in the movie, and she is, without a doubt, Carrie Fisher playing Princess Leia.
Actors are aged up for roles all the time — but very rarely are they aged down 40 or so years. It happened here with Rogue One, and it’s all thanks so some high-tech movie magic.
While Disney and Lucasfilm haven’t released exactly how they made this happen, it’s easy to guess. A real, live actress, Ingvild Deila, played Princess Leia in the movie, or rather, played the stand-in for Princess Leia. Remember how in Ant-Man, Michael Douglass was de-aged to look much younger and then in Captain America: Civil War, same thing for Robert Downy Jr.? Disney used a company called Lola VFX to do that, and basically the VFX company does their VFX magic to make someone look younger, and that image is then superimposed over the character’s stand in for their younger scenes in the movie. Tah-dah!
It’s actually 1,000% more technical and difficult than that, but that’s the general gist.
So while that was Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in the movie, that wasn’t exactly Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in the movie. It was her (and probably footage from the original Star Wars movie was used), but it wasn’t her at the same time, and filmmaking is CRAZY. Fisher more than likely helped out a little with making her cameo happen — and she obviously knew it was happening and had to approve her likeness appearing in the movie — as she was listed in the credits as the very last (and apparently biggest) “Special Thanks.”
And you know what, there’s one downside to this cameo, and it needs to be addressed: Carrie Fisher was in Rogue One all along, and we were totally deprived of a glorious Carrie Fisher Rogue One press tour. Ugh, next year’s Episode VIII can’t get here soon enough.