The last few years of Star Wars lore have heavily featured Carrie Fisher's Leia Organa, one of the founding members of the original trilogy from the 1970s and 1980s. Although Fisher passed away before Episode XIII, her heroine remained a central figure in the sequel trilogy as Leia led the rebellion against the First Order. This all led to her on-screen death in Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker as she tried to save her son from the dark side.
Although The Rise of Skywalker had its fair share of issues, Leia's death still came as quite an emotional blow thanks to Fisher's four decades of time in the franchise. Fans had seen Leia grow from princess of Alderaan to leader of a massive army alongside Finn, Rey, and Poe, all while she imparted her wisdom and learned about her own abilities with the Force.
As Rey stabbed Kylo Ren with his own lightsaber on Bef Kir, fans saw the life leave Leia's body as her journey ended in a devastating fashion.
While this happened at the rebels' base in the final cut of The Rise of Skywalker, a new piece of concept art shows another version of how the moment was imagined.
Star Wars Shows New Take on Leia's Death
Star Wars concept designer Phil Saunders took to Instagram to show an alternate version of Leia Organa's death scene from Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.
In this new version of the scene, Leia passes away in her own stateroom on the Tantiveiv. It also had her on the move rather than stationed on the ground with her troops.
Saunders included the following caption with the image, also revealing that a comet was meant to fly by in the sky outside of Leia's ship:
"Another concept from The Rise of Skywalker. An earlier version of the script placed Leia's death in her stateroom on the Tantiveiv in transit. At the moment of her passing, a comet was supposed to streak past her window. I shaped the stateroom to telegraph its location in the Blockade Runner, just under the cockpit in the hammerhead."
In the final cut, Leia died suddenly as she led her people from the rebel base into battle, all while Rey battled with Kylo Ren in the rain some distance away.
Maz Kanata, Rose Tico, and others from the heroes' side of the fight stood over the fallen general during the final moments of her life.
Leia Organa's Emotional End in Rise of Skywalker
No matter where it took place, Leia's passing in The Rise of Skywalker was always going to be a turning point moment after she played a key role in six of the nine movies from the Skywalker Saga.
This concept art seemingly indicates that there were ideas to initially have her more secluded as she died, almost similar to how her mother Padme died in Episode III. This came after Padme gave birth to Luke and Leia as their mother died of a broken heart, which became something of a family trend after Leia used her energy to keep her own family safe in The Rise of Skywalker.
In the end, the location for this scene didn't make much of a difference in how much of an impact it was bound to have on the story. While Leia's story in the Star Wars legacy isn't over yet thanks to her reported upcoming role in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, her passing in Episode IX will be one that fans never forget.
Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is available to stream on Disney+.