Billie Lourd, the daughter of the later Carrie Fisher, was beautifully involved in Leia’s final sequence during Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
SCREENRANT – Billie Lourd’s Star Wars character is involved in Leia Organa’s final moments, giving the character’s death a deeper significance during Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Lourd is the daughter of Carrie Fisher, the beloved actress behind the role of Princess Leia. Fisher reprised her iconic role starting with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but the actress tragically passed away before the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Lourd’s appearance in 2015’s The Force Awakens marked her first official acting gig. She played the role of Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix, a member of the Resistance who worked closely with General Leia Organa. That same year, Lourd acquired her first TV gig with Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens. Lourd reprised her role as Lieutenant Connix for The Last Jedi before appearing in multiple seasons of American Horror Story and the film, Booksmart. The actress may not have had the most prominent role in The Rise of Skywalker but she was tasked with one of the most heart-wrenching moment
Leia, Luke, and Han all had key roles in the sequel trilogy, but Leia clearly had the most influential in terms of the overall storyline. Director J.J. Abrams had major plans for Leia in The Rise of Skywalker, but those drafts had to be reworked following Fisher’s untimely passing in December 2016. Abrams and the production crew decided to use unused footage from past Star Wars films to piece together Leia’s arc. Those few minutes of footage, as well as body doubles, gave the film an opportunity to give Leia a final farewell. Before she peacefully died on-screen, Lourd’s Lieutenant Connix led Leia to her final resting spot.
How Billie Lourd’s Character Guided Leia In Her Final Moments
At one point, Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewie, C-3PO, and BB-8 were on a mission to find a Sith Wayfinder in order to locate Emperor Palpatine. Their journey took them to the site of the Death Star wreckage on the ocean moon of Kef Bir. Meanwhile, General Organa and the Resistance forces were following closely from their base on Ajan Kloss. As Rey and Kylo Ren face off in a lightsaber duel, Leia walks away from the control center with a solemn look on her face. At that moment, Lieutenant Connix takes her General by the arm and guides her to a more private location. Maz Kanata then explains to R2-D2 that “to reach her son now, she must use all the strength she has left.” Leia does just that, using her final amount of strength to reach out to Kylo Ren which gives Rey the opportunity to stab him with her lightsaber. With that, Leia passes away.
After a lifeless silhouette of Leia is shown peacefully dying, members of the Resistance are seen surrounding their General in a moment of mourning. Lourd is noticeably not in the scene for understandable reasons. The actress lost her mother in real life and seeing what was intended to be Fisher’s character in that condition would be too emotional to witness. That said, it was special that Lourd was given the opportunity to guide her mother’s character in her final moments. Leia sacrifices her last amount of strength to reach her son and she succeeds. Rey heals Kylo Ren before he sees a vision of his father, Han Solo, before leaving his past behind and reclaiming his identity as Ben Solo. Leia’s body then disappears as she can now be one with the Force. Later in the movie, Lieutenant Connix can be seen wearing an outfit that resembles that of Leia’s during the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi. This was just another way for Lourd to honor her late mother.
Some might argue that Leia deserved a better ending in the Skywalker saga, but Abrams had limited options in concluding her story. The fact that Fisher’s own daughter had a hand in caring for Leia before her dying moments was the most fitting decision that all involved could have made. Lourd is the daughter of Star Wars royalty and has been vocal about how she now feels like Princess Leia’s keeper. This notion is exemplified in her final touching moment with her mother’s character in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and there’s no doubt Lourd will continue to carry on Fisher’s legacy in the Star Wars universe and beyond.