Hmm… can’t say I’m a fan of Rey killing Leia. Interesting idea but not for me
Maz Kanata says: “to reach her son will take all the strength she has left”. So it’s clear Leia wasn’t coming out of it alive. Rey didn’t kill her.
I like the cruel irony of it, but I don’t know if the rest of the film supports it.
All of this. Rey killing Leia is a moment with no support on either side of it. In an odd way that makes it seem plausible for an Abrams movie, because the rest of TROS is also filled with cool-sounding moments that don’t have any real setup or effort put into their execution. But there’s no need to come up with another reason to make Rey feel guilty in that moment, much less having it be that reason. It makes the breeziness of Luke’s hangout with her on Ahch-To even weirder and slighter now. “Oh, you accidentally killed her? It’s alright, she was cool w/ you. Check it out, here’s her lightsaber, take it!”
But beyond all that, it just doesn’t work. The whole point of resurrecting Carrie Fisher through deleted scenes was essentially to have her make that sacrifice to save Ben during the duel. They wanted to do that, and worked backwards from what they had in order to achieve that goal. There was no way anyone involved ever thought or meant for that to be read as “so, Rey accidentally kills her.” It’s just a side-effect of bad decisionmaking and execution of their already misguided idea. I can understand why people would believe that’s what happened considering all the other misguided empty-headed decisions for the sake of “COOL” happening, that viewers might want to latch onto something that seems like it COULD be substantial, even if it was an accident. But everything else in the movie is pointing to and underlining the idea that Leia’s whole purpose in TROS is to sacrifice herself to save her son. It’s the only thing she has to do as a character. Re-editing it so she doesn’t even do that makes the whole deleted-scenes endeavor of Fisher’s “performance” even emptier than it was before.
The bigger problem is that she saves her son and then they just cover her with a sheet for the next half-hour of the movie so they can get the disappearing body effect to twin (another example of a cool idea executed poorly and with no real thought behind it). If she’s sacrificing herself there, she should disappear there. Either after Han’s memory, or just after Rey has revived him (you could, potentially through cross-cutting, make it seem like her force is flowing through Rey). But no, they just turn her into furniture for Maz to sit in front of until Reylo is consummated.
The other bad part of deciding to cover her with a sheet until after Ben disappears is now she can’t show up in the “All the Jedi” segment, which she should. If anything, she should be the primary Jedi. The movie was created with the idea of using Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia as a symbol, and then nobody involved actually did anything symbolic with her image. When she does show up as a ghost at the very end, the focus is still on Luke, visually.
If Ben had died resurrecting Rey earlier in the Palpatine fight (and disappeared without them kissing - or without Rey even knowing he’d saved her) you could have both Ben AND Leia in the Ghost lineup behind her.
It’s just a mess.