A few weeks ago John Boyega promised an “amazing sendoff” for Carrie Fisher’s General/Princess Leia Organa when Star Wars: The Last Jedi debuts this December, and yet again, we got teary-eyed and excited at the same time. Now we’re getting some further details about what sort of sendoff that will be, thanks to writer/director Rian Johnson and actor Oscar Isaac, aka Poe Dameron.
“There’s no way that we could’ve known this would’ve been the last Star Wars movie she would be in, so it’s not like we made the film thinking that we were bringing closure to the character,” said Johnson. “But watching the film, there’s going to be a very emotional reaction to what she does in this movie.”
That resonates with what we’d already heard from Boyega, who also mentioned that his character, Finn, shares many scenes with Leia. Well, Finn’s not the only Resistance fighter graced by the Princess’s company in the film, as Isaac explained:
“Poe is in some ways a surrogate son for Leia, but also I think she sees in him the potential for a truly great leader of the Resistance and beyond … Poe’s arc is one of evolving from a heroic soldier to a seasoned leader, to see beyond the single-mindedness of winning the battle to the larger picture of the future of the galaxy … I think Leia knows she won’t be around forever and she, with tough love, wants to push Poe to be more than the badass pilot, to temper his heroic impulses with wisdom and clarity.”
Leia is certainly someone who knows how to temper a man’s heroic impulses with tough love, having had to do so many times for Han. And with all the events that went down at the end of Force Awakens, it’s not hard to see how Leia could use a “surrogate son” around. Not that it sounds like there’s going to be much time for sentimentality, as the Resistance has far bigger problems.
“They’re a small band that’s now cut off, on its own, and hunted when the Republic is shattered,” said Johnson. “When the First Order did that hit, the Resistance is isolated, and they’re very, very vulnerable. That’s where we pick them up.”
And perhaps the Resistance may be experiencing some infighting as well, with General Organa seemingly finding a challenging voice from newcomer Laura Dern’s Vice Admiral Holdo, another commander in the Resistance.
“I don’t want to tip the hat too much, but I will say that the heat is immediately turned up on the Resistance,” said Johnson. “Everybody is put in a pressure cooker right away, and relationships crack and strain under that pressure. That was really interesting to me, the notion of putting this small army under a lot of external pressure and showing some of the results within the Resistance itself.”
How will the Resistance go on? We’re pretty sure it will very sadly be without one of their greatest leaders, at least at some point, however that gets shown or alluded to in the film. But however they handle that difficult moment, it sounds like Princess Leia Organa isn’t done resisting just yet. We’ll see when Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens Dec. 15, 2017.