Rian Johnson says Carrie Fisher’s Last Jedi scenes are untouched: 'We didn’t end up changing a thing'

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Nov 29, 2017, 2:04 PM EST

One of the most heartbreaking celebrity losses in years came at the end of 2016, when we lost our princess, Carrie Fisher. Of course, her importance was felt on a whole other level by her colleagues in the yet-to-be completed third Star Wars trilogy, which Fisher plays a major role in, one that was intended to see a three-film arc.

Though she had finished work on Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII, The Last Jedi, at the time of her death, and basically ever since, speculation has run rampant as to just how Johnson and then Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow would address the galaxy’s loss of General Leia Organa. Now it appears that task will be up to new Episode X director J.J. Abrams, because Fisher’s Jedi performance won’t be changed one bit.  

"We didn't end up changing a thing," Johnson told Rolling Stone in an expansive story about The Last Jedi. "Luckily, we had a totally complete performance from her."

So Leia’s TLJ arc will be even more interesting (yet just as emotionally difficult) to watch when the film drops next month.

Rolling Stone's in-depth roundup had plenty of other interesting tidbits, too, which you should definitely check out. Here's some more that stuck out…

Daisy Ridley seems to be over playing Rey after Episode IX

While speaking with Daisy Ridley, author Brian Hiatt discussed the future of the Skywalker saga, which she sees as coming to an end, even though that “future is in flux”:

“No,” she says flatly. “For me, I didn’t really know what I was signing on to. I hadn’t read the script, but from what I could tell, it was really nice people involved, so I was just like, ‘Awesome.’ Now I think I am even luckier than I knew then, to be part of something that feels so like coming home now.”

But, um, doesn’t that sort of sound like a yes? “No,” she says again, smiling a little. “No, no, no. I am really, really excited to do the third thing and round it out, because ultimately, what I was signing on to was three films. So in my head, it’s three films. I think it will feel like the right time to round it out.”

So perhaps Johnson’s new trilogy won’t include Rey after all, though that goes against what Kathleen Kennedy says of the galaxy's 10-year-plan.

Johnson baffled by ‘making it up as we go along’ criticism

Amazingly, Johnson enjoyed what seems to have been complete autonomy on Jedi, and that no one dictated to him what must happen, plot-wise. He also makes a great point about all that "making it up as they go along" nonsense:

"The truth is, stories are made up! Whether somebody made this whole thing up 10 years ago and put it on a whiteboard and we all have to stick to that, or whether we're organically finding it as we move forward, it doesn't mean that any less thought is being put into it."

Wait, these stories are made up? Who knew?!

The Last Jedi may not be as dark as you think

Though it’s the second of the trilogy, aka Empire territory, and though the previews haven’t done anything to dissuade us, The Last Jedi isn’t all doom and gloom:

"That's one thing I hope people will be surprised about with the movie," Johnson says. "I think it's very funny. The trailers have been kind of dark – the movie has that, but I also made a real conscious effort for it to be a riot. I want it to have all the things tonally that I associate with Star Wars, which is not just the Wagner of it. It's also the Flash Gordon."

Which is also a pretty neat way to think of space operas in general.

Johnson can’t have nice things

After assembling his very first Millennium Falcon, a grade-school-aged Johnson promptly chucked it into flight.

"The first thing I did," he recalls, "was throw it across the room, to see how it would look flying." He grins. "And it broke." 

Nowadays, thanks to The Last Jedi and the “blank slate” he’s been given to develop a new (perhaps Skywalker-less) Star Wars trilogy, he has plenty of toys to replace it with.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens Dec. 15, 2017.