Carrie Fisher knew J.J. Abrams would direct another Star Wars film

Carrie Fisher appears in The Rise of Skywalker in the form of reused footage from The Force Awakens.

Carrie Fisher predicted J.J. Abrams would direct another Star Wars film before he got the job on The Rise of Skywalker.

The actress reprised her role as Princess Leia when the sci-fi franchise was revived in 2015 with The Force Awakens, which was directed by Abrams, but she passed away before the release of her next outing as Leia in 2017's The Last Jedi, helmed by Rian Johnson.

Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow was slated to direct the third and final instalment in the new trilogy, but after he departed the project, Abrams was drafted in as his replacement, and it appears Fisher predicted that would happen in her final memoir The Princess Diarist, which was published just weeks before she died in December 2016 at the age of 60.

"I wasn't supposed to work on this film, and she passed away before The Last Jedi was released," Abrams said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. "She wrote this autobiography The Princess Diarist... She thanks me at the very end and says, 'Special thanks to J.J. Abrams for putting up with me twice.' I had never worked with her before Force Awakens and I wasn't supposed to direct Episode IX. It was a very Carrie thing to write something like that and to somehow know. It was really strange."

In the interview, the Star Trek director said it would have been "impossible" to conclude the trilogy without Leia and they didn't want to digitally recreate her or recast the role, so they used old footage from The Force Awakens.

"Every time you're seeing scenes with Leia and characters, it's Carrie in this movie, and I still can't quite believe that she's gone, because we've been working on these scenes in editorial and she's as there as anyone, it's really uncanny," he stated.

The Rise of Skywalker hits cinemas from 18 December.

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