After Carrie Fisher’s sudden death in 2016, fans knew that “Star Wars: Episode IX” would have to change. Many believed Princess Leia would die off-screen, but director J.J. Abrams said that it just didn’t feel right to do that.

“Saying Leia had passed away, or that she was off somewhere else, felt like a cheat,” Abrams told Entertainment Weekly. “Then I remembered we had these scenes that we hadn’t used from 'Episode VII.' It was like finding this impossible answer to this impossible question.”

The “Rise of Skywalker” director is thrilled that they were able to use real footage of Fisher as Leia. “Suddenly we had classic Carrie in these amazing moments. So when you see in the movie, it’s her, she’s there. It’s not like there’s some crazy digital trickery. She’s just in the movie,” he said.

The clarification is necessary. After all, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” used a digital version of Leia. The film took place just ahead of the original trilogy, so a young Leia made a cameo appearance. Filmmakers digitally created Leia, and fans were divided over the results.

However, it’s been said that Fisher, who got to see the film before she died, enjoyed the digital rendering. “She was involved in the process and, you know, she saw the final result and she loved it,” John Knoll, Lucasfilm CCO and senior visual effects guru, told ABC News. “She got to see the scene. [Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm] showed it to her. So, I got a call afterwards from Kathy saying, ‘Well, Carrie loved it.’”

Abrams previously revealed to Vanity Fair that some of the unseen footage will include scenes with Leia and Lieutenant Connix, played by Fisher’s real-life daughter Billie Lourd. The “American Horror Story” actress gave Abrams her blessing to use old footage of her mother.

“Star Wars: Episode IX—The Rise of Skywalker” releases Dec. 21.

Carrie Fisher final Star Wars
Carrie Fisher will appear in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker." Lucasfilm