It’s one of the more surprising scenes in The Rise of Skywalker – and the film is loaded with them – when we see Luke and Leia looking as they did in 1983’s Return of the Jedi as Leia and Luke train with their lightsabers and Leia gets the upper hand. It’s a key moment as we learn why Leia’s Jedi path went the way it did, and speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, co-writer Chris Terrio explains the origins of the footage in the scene.
THR: I know you repurposed unused Episode VII footage, but did you pull audio of Carrie from other sources besides her Star Wars movies?
CT: As far as the audio goes, every word that she says in the movie she’s said as Leia in Star Wars. I’d have to talk to Skywalker Sound about which bits were usable exactly as they were and which bits were cobbled together with different audio tracks. We had all the audio that Leia says at our disposal, and of course, every word that she says on camera is really Carrie.
We also had access to the dailies from the original trilogy, and in the flashback of Luke and Leia, that image of Carrie comes from Return of the Jedi. So, we had access to everything in the archive, which turned out to be super helpful. So, yeah, the original trilogy was on our table for the flashback and for audio.
That said, Leia was a very different person in the new trilogy, and I’m not sure that we would’ve used any audio from the original trilogy. Her voice had changed, and obviously, she was older, wiser and had a different quality to her performance. So, I’m not sure we ended up using any audio from the original trilogy, and we tried to stay true to Carrie’s acting intentions as much as we could.