This story discusses some spoilery elements of Star Wars: Rogue One.
The newest Star Wars movie, Rogue One, ended with a cameo from Princess Leia. Given that the movie is set before the events of the 1977 original, the team at Lucasfilm needed to create a digital version of Leia, based on Carrie Fisher’s likeness at the time, when she was 19.
Lucasfilm visual effects boss John Knoll said in a new interview that Fisher gave her blessing and enjoyed the scene very much.
“She was involved in the process and, you know, she saw the final result and she loved it,” he said on ABC’s Nightline this week (via IGN). “She got to see the scene. [Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy] showed it to her. So, I got a call afterwards from Kathy saying, ‘Well, Carrie loved it.'”
Knoll went on to say that Lucasfilm’s visual effects team used “really good scans” of Leia from A New Hope to create her digital model for Rogue One.
“We matched a couple of frames very exactly with our CG model and then sort of bounced back and forth between our render and the archival frame,” he said.
Rogue One also features the character Grand Moff Tarkin, who was played by the late Peter Cushing. He was resurrected for Rogue One, with the blessing of the Cushing Estate, using digital effects and new motion capture work by the actor Guy Henry.
Fisher passed away last week at the age of 60. A braintrust at Lucasfilm is currently weighing its options for Leia’s future in the Star Wars film series.
Rogue One opened in the US and other international markets on December 16. Worldwide, the film has already made more than $800 million. It could cross $1 billion after it opens in China, despite air pollution in the country expected to keep some people from going to the theater.