In the documentary, writer/director J.J. Abrams mentioned that Fisher hadn’t acted in a while and said he thought “she was nervous going into this.” Though she’d appeared in a few projects the year before, like “Maps to the Stars,” the TV series “Legit,” and playing herself in an episode of “The Big Bang Theory,” it had been a while since Fisher had been given a substantial role as a performer. By the time her first day rolled around for “The Force Awakens,” she wasn’t exactly feeling super comfortable. Here’s how she described that moment in the documentary:
“It was basically the worst day I’ve ever had on a film set in my life. Then it ended and I got to go to sleep and come in another day, and it was better.”
Abrams added, “Once we started to do it, she seemed to fall into it very easily. To bring a character to life that you hadn’t played in thirty-some years, I mean, I understand for all of them how daunting that could be.” In the behind-the-scenes doc, Fisher also explained what reprising that role meant to her and the fear she carried with her about it:
“I’m the custodian of Princess Leia, so it’s my job to kind of protect her. It’s my whole life, so I was very nervous. The first day I had was this massive scene. I was scared that I would make mistakes, and I made mistakes.”
From my perspective, there were no mistakes from Fisher. Not a single one. She passed away at the age of 60 in 2016 and was brought back for the final film in the trilogy, 2019’s “The Rise of Skywalker,” using footage filmed for “The Force Awakens.” Rest in peace, General.
All the “Star Wars” films are currently streaming on Disney+.