J.J. Abrams Says Carrie Fisher Knew He Would Direct Another ‘Star Wars’ Film

It appears Carrie Fisher knew that J.J. Abrams would direct another “Star Wars” film even before he did.

While stopping by “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” to discuss the upcoming “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” Abrams shared an uncanny message he got from the late Fisher, whom he first worked with in 2015 on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Fisher died in 2016, before filming on “The Rise of Skywalker” began and prior to the news that Abrams would return to complete the Skywalker saga. But the actress, who appears in the upcoming film through unused footage from “The Last Jedi,” apparently knew she would work with Abrams again.

“I wasn’t supposed to work on this film, and she passed away before ‘The Last Jedi’ was released,” Abrams said. “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 suppose to direct Episode IX. It was a very Carrie thing to write something like that and to somehow know. It was really strange.”

Abrams said it would have been “impossible” to conclude the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy without Fisher’s Princess Leia.

Popular on Variety

“We knew that there was no way that we could finish this Skywalker saga without Leia,” he said. “We knew we’d never want to do a digital Leia and, of course, couldn’t recast it. 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.”

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” debuts in theaters Dec. 20.

More Film

  • Little Women Movie

    'Little Women,' 'Fleabag' Win USC Scripter Awards

    Greta Gerwig’s script for “Little Women” has won the USC Libraries Scripter Award for best movie adaptation and “Fleabag” has taken the television award. The winners were announced Saturday night at USC’s Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library. “Little Women” topped “Dark Waters,” “The Irishman,” “Jojo Rabbit,” and “The Two Popes.” All but environmental drama [...]

  • Four Good Days

    'Four Good Days': Film Review

    Addiction, you could say (and I would), has become the central demon that plagues Americans. We’re addicted to everything: alcohol, illegal drugs, pharmaceutical drugs, psychotropic drugs, sugar-bomb soft drinks, processed food, video screens…you name it. In theory, addiction was made for drama, because it rips up the fabric of people’s lives, and that’s intensely dramatic. [...]

  • Netflix backed animated films “Klaus,” left,

    'Klaus,' 'I Lost My Body' Top 47th Annie Awards as Netflix Dominates

    Netflix dominated the 47th Annie Awards on Saturday, Jan. 25, picking up 19 trophies, including the top prizes of best feature (“Klaus”), best feature-independent (“I Lost My Body”), best TV/media production for preschool children (“Ask the Storybots”) and best general audience TV/media production (“BoJack Horseman”). Disney TV Animation’s “Disney Mickey Mouse” won best TV/media production [...]

  • Disney Myth A Frozen Tale

    ‘Frozen 2’-Inspired VR Film ‘Myth’ Creates Beautifully Immersive ‘Fairy Tale Within a Fairy Tale’

    With “Myth: A Frozen Tale,” Disney Animation has crafted a visually stunning virtual-reality short film — a project that flexes its VR muscles but deftly uses the technology in service of storytelling. Sometimes VR experiences feel like proof-of-concepts straining to justify their 3D settings. “Myth,” by contrast, employs virtual reality so effectively it feels like [...]

  • 'Dick Johnson is Dead' Review: Kirsten

    'Dick Johnson is Dead': Film Review

    Death isn’t wasted on the dead, exactly, but much that follows in its black-veiled wake is: A heartfelt eulogy, after all, is often composed of warm words we should have shared with the deceased before they turned cold. Eighties soft-rock band Mike and the Mechanics had a #1 hit with this very observation, of course: [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content