‘The Last Jedi’ Director Rian Johnson on the Importance of Carrie Fisher

Calls the actress/screenwriter “one of my heroes.”

Yahoo Movies recently sat down with Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson to talk about how the new trailer, why Porgs are so damn cute and how he decided what bits of plot and action to reveal and what to hide in the  marketing campaign leading up to the movie.

But Johnson took a more serious tone when discussing what it meant to him to work with industry icon Carrie Fisher, who played Leia in the original trilogy.

“She was so conscious of the place that Leia had, not just broadly in the culture, but very specifically in terms of girls who grew up watching Star Wars when Leia was the only female hero on the screen,” Johnson says. “She really wanted to do right by that, drawing the character forward. That was something that she would always be pulling us back to. And for me it was fantastic, because besides all the other benefits of having a fantastic writer like Carrie there by my side while we’re making this movie, just having a voice that was like a compass needle that would always pull it back in the right direction of, This is what this character means and this is what we always have to make sure that she’s serving, with her strength and also with her weaknesses — showing a fully realized character who is going to be inspiring to the folks who grew up with Leia.”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in theaters on Dec. 15.