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Fisher died late last year after suffering cardiac arrest on a flight from London to Los Angeles. After the loss, fans around the globe paid tribute to the actress, as did her "Star Wars" family, including creator George Lucas and actor Mark Hamill.
"Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson referenced Leia's ability to lose and still move forward in past films, like when she lost her home planet in the very first 1977 film and most recently the love of her life Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford. Solo was killed in 2015's "The Force Awakens" by his and Leia's own son Kylo Ren.
Leia has been an inspiration for "Star Wars" fans over the years, never acting as the Princess in need of saving, but running head first into conflicts and then rising to the rank of general in the Resistance military.
"She’s just taken hit after hit, and she’s borne it," Johnson told EW. "She focuses on moving forward and the task at hand."
In this final run, Leia is still in command of the Resistance, but "cut off," Johnson said, after the Republic was almost completely destroyed in "Force Awakens" by the powerful First Order weapon Starkiller Base.
"The Resistance is isolated, and they’re very, very vulnerable. That’s where we pick them up," he added. "While I was figuring out what her deal was going to be in this film, it’s one of the things I talked about with Carrie before I started writing: where the character would go."
While Boyega told ABC News a few weeks back that his character, Finn, and Leia have many scenes together, she'll also be working with Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron, the pilot that reminds fans of a young Solo. Poe is brash, confident and gutsy and doesn't take sass from anyone.
"Poe is in some ways a surrogate son for Leia," Isaac said. "But also I think she sees in him the potential for a truly great leader of the Resistance and beyond ... I think Leia knows she won’t be around forever and she, with tough love, wants to push Poe to be more than the badass pilot."
Until his end in "Force Awakens," it seemed that Solo stayed a smuggler, alongside his first mate Chewbacca. Solo started off the last film searching for his precious Millenium Falcon and wasn't with his love Leia.
Johnson also said he hopes this final film leaves Leia and all "Star Wars" fans satisfied.
"It’s not like we made the film thinking that we were bringing closure to the character. But watching the film, there’s going to be a very emotional reaction to what she does in this movie," the director added.
"The Last Jedi" hits theaters on Dec. 15.
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