After Carrie Fisher’s untimely death this past year, Star Wars fans wondered how she would be written out of the saga. Would Rian Johnson do it in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, would she be CGI’ed in J.J. Abrams next film?

SPOILERS BELOW – If you haven’t seen the new Star Wars film, do not proceed!

As it turns out, Fisher had completed filming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Lucasfilm thought so much of her performance, that they didn’t want her character changed in the film. There was an opportunity during the first half of the film to send her character off, but Johnson didn’t want to do it according to a new interview at IGN.

I mean, after we came back from New Year’s, Kathy [Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm] and I had a conversation and I felt really strongly that we had a beautiful performance from her.

Because if we did that, first of all that would feel like a very unsatisfying end to that character, because that moment of her getting blown out was not engineered to be an ending. And second, that would mean we would lose the scene with her and Luke, the scene with her and Rey at the end, the scene with her and Holdo. So much stuff that I feel I wanted to have from Carrie. I didn’t want to lose that. We talked about it briefly but it was something very quickly I decided I didn’t want to do.

In the film, Leia uses the Force to pull herself back to the safety of the ship. IGN took the opportunity to ask Rian, if Leia had trained with Luke during the time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens to hone her Force skills…

This is a reflex action on her part. It’s the equivalent in my head of when you hear about parents, toddlers are caught under cars, and they suddenly get Hulk strength and can lift it up. Or a drowning person climbing their way to the surface. It’s instinctual, her use of it. It’s the opposite of when Luke Force-pulls the saber in Hoth. It isn’t like, ‘I’m going to try and do this.’ For her it’s just an instinctual thing of, ‘I’m not done yet. I’m not giving up. I’m pulling myself back in.

So there you have it. What do you think of the flying through space scene? Leave your thoughts in the appropriate places.

About Star Wars: The Last Jedi:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits North American theaters on December 15, 2017. Directed by Rian Johnson and starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern, Jimmy Vee, and more! Music will be composed by John Williams.