The visual effects studio, Industrial Light and Magic, have released a new video detailing the visual effects work created for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The “ILM Behind the Magic” video includes a special look into the process of including Carrie Fisher’s Leia in the film.
Including Fisher – who died in 2016, before filming for episode nine began – was always a given for the film’s creators but the big question was how she would be included in the series’ conclusion.
Thanks to footage from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the visual effects team was able to bring Leia back for one last film. “Alternate takes of Carrie Fisher from EP7 were used and combined with EP9 footage. Her hair and costume were created digitally.”
“Footage from EP5 and EP6 was used to create the faces of a young Luke and Leia in [the] flashback scene.” The video then shows stills of young Mark Hamill and young Carrie fisher overlayed on top of stand-in actors.
Of the flashback scene, Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett noted in an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, “We scoured outtakes from the original movies, and we took some pieces and then had to try and figure out the technical aspect of putting that shot together.”
In a very unique opportunity, Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, was able stand-in for young Leia in the flashback scene.
In the Yahoo interview, ILM Visual Effects Supervisor Patrick Tuback said, “It was an emotional thing for everybody to see her in that position. It felt great for us, too. If you’re going to have someone play [Fisher’s] part, it’s great that it’s [Billie] because there are a lot of similarities between them that we were able to draw from. The real challenge was just making the Leia footage we had to work with fit in that scene.”