The biggest question going into Star Wars: The Last Jedi is how the movie will deal with Carrie Fisher’s passing. She had finished all of her scenes for the movie before her death last winter, but the series would be remiss if she wasn’t given a proper sendoff. We still don’t know if another actress will play General Leia in Episode IX, or if she’ll be somewhat written out of it, but John Boyega says she’s given her due in The Last Jedi.
For a franchise about slightly sketchy space crooks and intergalactic military types, the Star Wars films are almost conspicuously free of profanity. It makes sense from a business perspective — keeping the series PG-13 ensures that it’ll be open to a wider array of viewers — and yet the absence of cussing feels especially noticeable in a movie starring the famously coarse-tongued Carrie Fisher. The closest the series came to a four-letter word was Han Solo getting dissed as a “scruffy nerf-herder,” but a recently discovered cache of lost footage from the original 1977 Star Wars is going to change all that in short order.
Shooting a movie’s not like performing a play. The theatrical process is primal, all rooted in emotion and immersion within the fictional moment. Production on a feature film requires far more on a technical level, to the point where actors will be ordered to pick up a spoon in the exact same way ten times, just to be safe. (David Fincher famously went through one hundred takes to nail the opening breakup in his magnum opus The Social Network.) For the typical actor, most of filmmaking is waiting around for stuff to happen — but that’s far less tiresome when you get to hang out with Carrie Fisher between calls of “ACTION!”
After Carrie Fisher’s untimely death, a lot of fans speculated about how her absence would affect the story of the final Star Wars movie. All of her scenes had been completed for Episode VIII, but production hadn’t yet started on Episode IX, and some wondered whether Lucasfilm would pull a Tarkin and resurrect General Organa using a combination of CGI and motion-capture...