It's no secret Carrie Fisher will be included in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Lucasfilm and Disney made the official announcement months ago, noting they will be using unseen footage from 2015's The Force Awakens and 2017's The Last Jedi. But how they incorporate the iconic General Leia Organa character in the movie is another question. Thankfully, J.J. Abrams has shed some light on how she will be incorporated in Star Wars 9.
Disney and Lucasfilm were adamant about not recasting Carrie Fisher in The Rise of Skywalker or using CGI. But, they had to figure out a way to keep her in the movie. Back when Colin Trevorrow was attached to direct, he revealed that the third and final movie of the Skywalker saga was supposed to center on Leia, but plans had to change after Fisher's untimely death in 2016. J.J. Abrams had this to say about including Fisher in Star Wars 9.
"You don't recast and you don't suddenly have her disappear. We had a lot of scenes from The Force Awakens that went unused. Leia lives in this film in a way that is kinda mind blowing to me."
Apparently there was a wealth of footage available from The Force Awakens to give Carrie Fisher a sizable part in The Rise of Skywalker. This should be great news for all Star Wars fans who have been waiting to see her in the upcoming movie. With that being said, she was featured in a small scene of the recently released trailer giving Rey a tearful hug and it looked just like the rest of the footage, which is definitely a good thing. J.J. Abrams believes Carrie Fisher's legacy should live on, and the upcoming movie is just one way to do so.
As for what Leia will be up to in Rise of the Skywalker, that is still very much a mystery at this time. But, J.J. Abrams did reveal the team is all together in the movie and it takes place a little while after the events of The Last Jedi. Abrams would not go into specifics, but we've all known for quite some time the movie was not going to pick up right after the last movie for obvious reasons. The Resistance needs to rebuild and it's going to take some time to get everything together.
There is a major new/old threat coming to the Resistance this time around and it's going to be pretty mind blowing to see how they pull all of this off. Regardless, Carrie Fisher is going to be in The Rise of Skywalker and we know at the very least, the voice of Mark Hamill will be there, though he'll probably get some screen time too. All of this information came from the Star Wars 9 panel at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, and can be seen below, thanks to the Star Wars YouTube channel.