Star Wars truly wouldn't be the franchise that it is without the bravery, wit, and wile of Leia Organa, a princess and bonafide badass Rebel and Resistance leader. As you may know, Carrie Fisher tragically passed away three years ago in December at the age of 60. By then, she had wrapped up filming for The Last Jedi, which came out a year later in 2017. The question on everyone's mind right now might just be, well, how would Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker wrap up Leia's story given Fisher's death? Using unreleased footage from the past two episodes, Episode IX closes the chapter for this beloved character's arc. Ahead, we'll break down just how J.J. Abrams pulls it off. Yes, there are HUGE spoilers ahead, and we'd also like to warn you that you may need a tissue or two.
In The Last Jedi, General Leia has a brush with death when Kylo Ren's wingmen attack the Resistance bridge. Leia is badly hurt and barely survives by the end of the movie. Between Han Solo and Luke, death has not been absent in this trilogy, let alone this fandom. This time around, Leia sadly perishes as well.
How does it all go down? Leia's death might remind you of that of Luke's in The Last Jedi. Episode IX shows the relationship between Leia and Rey fortifying as mentor and mentee. When Rey (after learning she's a Palpatine) takes on Kylo Ren in a duel on the destroyed Death Star, Leia reaches out to Kylo, uttering "Ben" and distracting her son long enough so that Rey can attack. Rey stabs Kylo, then immediately heals him and takes over his ship. Using the Force to reach out to her son weakens Leia, who dies shortly after. In Ahch-To, Rey finds Luke, now a Force Ghost, bearing her with his old spacecraft and Leia's lightsaber to take on Palpatine.
Ready to cue the loudest mourning Wookiee wail? At the end of the movie, Ben Solo dies sacrificing himself to resurrect Rey after she fights Palpatine. He and Leia then become one with the Force, their physical bodies vanishing. Leia and Luke later watch as Rey returns to Tatooine. In a winsome moment, the movie ends after Rey tells a local that her name is — wait for it — Rey Skywalker.