Despite complications that have everything to do with Star Wars’s history at the box office, industry experts are predicting Star Wars: The Last Jedi will break opening weekend box office records. And it’s all because of the intrepid General Leia Organa.

As published by USA Today on Wednesday, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is expected to break box office records because of one person: Carrie Fisher.

Fisher’s tragic death in December 2016 rocked the world and threw the future of Star Wars into uncertainty. Lucasfilm was already planning on making Fisher’s General Leia Organa the star of Star Wars: Episode IX and had to scrap its plans upon her death. The Last Jedi will not only be Fisher’s final appearance in the Star Wars universe but also her final film performance ever.

Fisher first reappeared as Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which garnered a record-breaking $248 million on its opening weekend.

Jeff Bock, senior box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, said that “What’s making the The Last Jedi special is that this is the final role for Carrie Fisher. People will want to tip their hats.”

If this holds up, Bock predicts Last Jedi will see an opening weekend between $215 million to $220 million. While that wouldn’t push past the mark The Force Awakens made (at $248 million), it would give Last Jedi the second-highest opening weekend of all time, beating out Jurassic World ($208 million) for the No. 2 spot.

But, none of this is to say that The Last Jedi, which is said to be the most unexpected Star Wars film of all time, won’t surprise everyone. A digital recreation of young Fisher appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and did better than analysts first expected since the film wasn’t necessarily attached to any other Star Wars movie and was the first of its kind.

Never underestimate the power of nostalgia — and never underestimate Carrie Fisher.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres in theaters on December 15.