Entertainment Weekly: The Theme of Hope Remains with Carrie Fisher’s Leia through The Last Jedi

Princess Leia is the focus of the next Entertainment Weekly piece by Anthony Breznican. Rian Johnson delves into the status of the Resistance, Leia’s unwavering resolve, and Carrie Fisher’s dynamic final performance in the Star Wars saga.



Thanks to Anthony Breznican, we have yet another great article in Entertainment Weekly. Although the Resistance destroyed the First Order’s Starkiller base, the Republic was left DECIMATED with the capitol among other planets in the republic being destroyed by the super weapon. A character not unfamiliar to loss and despair (see Alderaan), Leia must once again remain strong, with resolve and lead the only way she knows how:


“Her character to some degree or another has been defined by loss through this whole saga, starting with the loss of her home planet. She’s just taken hit after hit, and she’s borne it, and she focuses on moving forward and the task at hand,” says writer-director Rian Johnson.



Anyone who expected the Resistance to fill that void and maintain order would be mistaken. “No, no, no. Not at all,” Johnson says. “They’re a small band that’s now cut off, on its own, and hunted when the Republic is shattered. When the First Order did that hit, the Resistance is isolated, and they’re very, very vulnerable. That’s where we pick them up.”


Johnson goes on to talk about his collaboration with Fisher, a very talented writer in her own right, about where Leia’s state of mind is amidst these recent dark times:


“She’s suffered quite a bit,” Johnson adds. “While I was figuring out what her deal was going to be in this film, it’s one of the things I talked about with Carrie before I started writing: where the character would go.”


Oscar Isaac, who grew close with Fisher on the set of The Force Awakens spoke about Poe and Leia’s relationship, and how it ultimately shapes what type of leader he is capable of being:


“Poe is in some ways a surrogate son for Leia,” Isaac tells EW. “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,” Isaac says. “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.”


As we know Poe and Leia have a lot of scenes together in The Last Jedi, Isaac has previously joked about how one of the first days on set involved Carrie slapping him, taking upwards of twenty takes to get it right. We know, just as their characters are, these two became close in real life, and there is no doubt Carrie has left a lasting impact on Oscar Isaac.


“One of my favorite things that would happen from time to time on set would be when Carrie would sing old songs,” he says. “Whenever that would happen I would offer her my hand and we would waltz around the set – on a starship, in a Rebel base, on an alien planet, and she would sing and we would dance. So surreal and beautiful to think about now. For all of her delicious, wicked humor and fiery energy she also had such sweet grace. I miss her dearly.”


One of the new characters in The Last Jedi is Admiral Holdo, played by Laura Dern. We don’t know much about the character, other than she is a part of the Resistance, and it appears with purpose, that Rian Johnson wants to keep it that way for now:


“The secrecy does have a purpose in that part of the fun with Laura’s character, with Admiral Holdo, is figuring out what her relationship is to everybody as you go along through the movie,” Johnson says.



“I don’t want to tip the hat too much, but I will say that the heat is immediately turned up on the Resistance,” Johnson says. “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.”


Johnson concludes by echoing what we’ve been hearing. That although this is Carrie’s final performance in Star Wars, the film was made obviously having no expectation of that being the case. Nevertheless, it appears we are truly in store for a great swan song from the Star Wars legend, which is now only four months away.


“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,” Johnson says. “But watching the film, there’s going to be a very emotional reaction to what she does in this movie.”


Lucasfilm has confirmed that Episode IX is being rewritten out of respect for Fisher’s passing, although “Leia’s impact will continue to reverberate”. This may all but confirm that they will not recast the character for the final episode of the sequel trilogy.


Here is Breznican talking about Carrie Fisher/Leia in The Last Jedi:






As we prepare for Carrie Fisher’s final Star Wars film, we leave you with her simple yet tear inducing final quote from the behind the scenes reel at D23.


It’s about family, and that’s what’s so powerful about it



You know we’ll be discussing this on The SWNN podcast The Resistance Broadcast this week as well! You can find me missing our highnessness on Twitter at @JohnnyHoey and be sure to follow our official SWNN account at @starwarsnewsnet and The Resistance Broadcast at @RBatSWNN.



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John Hoey is the Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net and the host of The Resistance Broadcast podcast

"For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is."

John Hoey

John Hoey is the Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net and the host of The Resistance Broadcast podcast"For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is."

30 thoughts on “Entertainment Weekly: The Theme of Hope Remains with Carrie Fisher’s Leia through The Last Jedi

  • August 10, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    The seat of the Republc’s government is the Republic’s “capital”, not “capitol” as written in the article.

    Going back to the content: so, apparently, Rey is Luke’s successor (the new Jedi, or whatever they are gonna call themselves going forward); Poe on the other hand is Leia’s designated successor (or, at least, the person she is mentoring to take over a leadership position in the Resistance). Where does that leave Finn then ? Is he to be a mere foot soldier ? Or a comic relief again? Why can’t SW writers do him right ?

    • August 10, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      Last time Finn was the catalyst.

    • August 10, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      Finn is the everyman. Everyone else is a legendary chosen one or the greatest pilot in the galaxy or royalty, etc. Its nice to have a few characters be just people who get scared but do the right thing anyway. I don’t think they will keep him a lowly foot soldier. Acording to rumor he is a hero of the resistance and will learn to be a pilot so I’d say not bad for a someone who took a lightsaber to the back.

    • August 10, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      Maybe he will be something new. Why do you assume they are doing him wrong?

    • August 11, 2017 at 12:38 am

      He’s the one with the cojones to sneak around First Order bases while being public enemy number one (of the non-Force using F.O.).

    • August 11, 2017 at 3:54 am

      Did you read the novelization of The Force Awakens? I liked Finn a lot more in that. I didn’t dislike Finn in the film, I just wasn’t really a fan.

    • August 11, 2017 at 4:03 am

      This is a case of “I’ve decided on the basis of insufficient evidence that X is going to happen, and I’m mad as hell about it!” It doesn’t make sense to complain about something that you don’t even know will happen.

      It makes sense that at the beginning of TLJ, he’s not yet in a leadership role: he’s in a coma, having *just* joined up with Resistance and gone on one mission. It was a doozy of a mission, and he played a decisive role, so it makes sense that he would be treated as a hero. But all this would of course take place in TLJ. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t: wait until you actually see the movie!

  • August 10, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Like I wrote somewhere else, it is clear now that the theme for this movie is women pushing men out of their “comfort zones”. Rey will bring back Luke, Rose will keep Finn from defecting, and Leia will push Poe to be ‘more than a pilot’. (Before you trash me, no, it is NOT a complaint, it’s an observartion on the underlying, symbolic cinematic language of TLJ) This is femenine symbolism all over on just three of the many roles a women can have with a man – Rey is the daughter, Rose the partner, Leia the mother –

    • August 10, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      Oh, btw, calling it now, Leia will become a Force Ghost.

      • August 10, 2017 at 9:10 pm

        I hope so. It would be a nice send off for the character that we could see her or hear her in the future of the franchise without recasting or having to constantly explain away her actions. They don’t have to dwell on her passing and make it overly dramatic. They can just make it a quiet understated moment.

    • August 10, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      I’ll jump in on this discussion in a minute. Lemme just rustle up my tin hat….

      • August 10, 2017 at 9:25 pm

        Oh, don’t bother, I know that to some people movies are just two hours of simple entertainment, while their stuff their faces with porcorn and large sodas.

        • August 10, 2017 at 9:42 pm

          Ah, I see. And your paranoia regarding females in movies is somehow indicative of a thoughtful and introspective approach to film? I’m glad that got cleared up. But honestly, few people here are likely to see your griping and complaining as belonging to the type of discerning mind you seem to fancy yourself as having.

          • August 10, 2017 at 10:02 pm

            “Before you trash me, no, it is NOT a complaint, it’s an observartion on the underlying, symbolic cinematic language of TLJ)”

            I guess you missed that part, huh?

          • August 10, 2017 at 10:07 pm

            Nope. Saw it. In the context of everything else he tends to take issue with, it was a complaint.

          • August 10, 2017 at 11:49 pm

            “In the context of everything” I’m so honored you have studied my work, but sadly failed to grasp any of it. Dear millennial, not every opinion that goes against your views is a complaint.

          • August 11, 2017 at 12:41 am

            “I’m so honored you have studied my work…”

            I interact regularly on these message boards. So do you. Being familiar with who posts what is hardly “studying”. It’s just being aware and paying a modicum of attention. Big difference.

          • August 11, 2017 at 3:41 am

            Well, you would know his feelings better than him.

          • August 11, 2017 at 4:14 am

            Who said anything about feelings? Nice try. Anything else?

          • August 11, 2017 at 3:01 pm

            People complain about something if they FEEL like it is something to they don’t like. The word “feelings” doesn’t have to be used, but since you are so clever, maybe we should say “thoughts”. You can clearly see inside his mind better than he can. Nice try. Be more sharp, less dull next time.

          • August 12, 2017 at 8:48 pm

            “I guess you know his intentions better? Please teach us your Jedi mind tricks!”

            I think we’ve already been over this. I’m not able to read his mind (although I do know a few other Jedi mind tricks), but anyone who has been on these boards for any length of time gets a sense of how frequent posters operate. His thin veneer of objectivism is hardly convincing when looked at in context of his other approaches to this franchise. If you’d like to take everything he says at face value, go for it. But it won’t do you much good to find fault in those who doubt his assumed, detached perspectives.

          • August 12, 2017 at 10:41 pm

            I don’t take everything at face value. But this one thing seemed like not a complaint but an observation.

          • August 10, 2017 at 11:47 pm

            And my posts make you angry, or offended, or upset to the point of obsession because…? Or are you demented, just like that?

          • August 11, 2017 at 12:45 am

            Who said anything about anger and offense? It’s an Internet message board. People post, others comment. That’s how it works. If you’re randomly attributing all sorts of negative emotions to my posts, that might say more about you than about me.

            Millennial? Safe spaces? What in the world are you talking about? I disagreed with you. Can’t you handle that without resorting to this sort of thing?

    • August 10, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      … and Kylo Ren falling in love with Rey.

    • August 11, 2017 at 12:46 am

      It looks like some people are supposing that you secretly want to set up this interpretation in order to complain about it. But I think this is an interesting theory. More than this, though, I find the possibility that you’re right pretty intriguing. If it’s done well, this could make for a great story with nicely thematic interconnections among the sub-plots.

      I for one agree that the ST is focusing more on women, and I love it. I’m a man, but I often identify with female characters, and love good stories about their struggles. This includes in genre stories. For example, I’m a huge Buffy fan. You don’t have to be a woman to find a woman’s struggles – including ones that you yourself haven’t experienced – to be compelling and personally meaningful, any more than you have to be black to find a black person’s struggles to be compelling and personally meaningful.

      So I hope you’re right!

      • August 11, 2017 at 5:29 am

        Thank you for bringing an interesting opinion to the discussion. If I just wanted to complain, I’d just do, I wouldn’t be looking for hidden symbols just to jusstify it, it’d be an oxymoron. I am genuinely interested in symbolism, subtext and cinema language, and have studied that for quite some time, including the work of Jung on archetypes (which relate to my original post) and of course Joseph Campbell.

    • August 11, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      that’s very clear reasoning you just made.
      As the father of a little girl, I am truly happy the franchise I loved the most growing up will have role models for my little one as she learns and develops.

  • August 11, 2017 at 4:31 am

    Glad they’re pointing out how much shit (arguably the most shit) that Leia has endured. She should be almost as nuts as Cersei Lannister by now.

  • August 11, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Although there was no official statement made, it sure seems like the Leia role will in fact NOT be recast for IX and The Last Jedi will be the final full film for the Leia character. If this is indeed the case, I’m happy to hear it. I think it’s the right call. Trying to recast that character for (likely) just one film after 4 movies (5 if you count her digital cameo in Rogue One) and 40 years of watching Carrie Fisher in the role just wouldn’t work very well in my opinion. Hopefully the writers for IX can handle her exit from the story well, with the appropriate reverence but also in a way that properly serves the story. I guess we’ll see…

Comments are closed.