General Leia was brought back one last time in The Rise of Skywalker by utilizing Carrie Fisher's unused footage from The Force Awakens. With only 8 minutes of clips that are available to use, it is pretty evident that it wouldn't be an easy task to incorporate her lines in Episode IX. The movie's VFX team had a lot of work to do to make this happen, and as it turns out, they were unexpectedly prepared to film those scenes.
"All that work we do set that everybody always says, 'Do you really have to shoot all these reference spheres? Do you really have to mark down the position of every light?' Well, thank God we did," Patrick Tubach told ScreenRant. These came in handy because the information from those shots in Episode VII was used to figure out what the camera needed to do, especially what the lighting of the scene was. "Luckily for us on this film, we were working with the same DP and even some of the same lighting gaffers," he added.
"Yes, some of the same electricians, weirdly enough," Roger Guyett added. He also revealed that they took "live-action elements" of Fisher's face and put them in the new scenes, which they would then build a "digital Carrie" around with. Guyett says a "tremendous amount" of work went into planning her scenes because it'll either succeed or fail the day they were shooting the scene.
"The chief lighting technician and gaffer go, 'Okay, what do you want us to do here?' I want you to light them as though she is lit this way," he added. "And they would go, 'Oh, my goodness. That's the scene from so-and-so.' And these guys are unbelievably good."
Guyett pointed out that while they had reference photographs of those scenes, and that they had taken notes on the lighting and that they're "familiar" with that world, they are still "limited."
It looks like their hard work paid off because Star Wars fans loved Fisher's scenes in The Rise of Skywalker and of course, that one scene definitely got the audience emotional. Sure enough, her legacy will live on and those scenes will definitely be unforgettable.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now showing.