Update: On Friday, January 13, StarWars.com released a statement regarding the rumors over Carrie Fisher’s involvement in the franchise after her tragic death late last year. Though Lucasfilm generally does not respond to rumors (casting or otherwise) as a rule, they felt that this particular story required a direct response. We’ve included their full statement here:
We don’t normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumor circulating that we would like to address. We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa.
Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to Star Wars.
While it’s heartbreaking that Lucasfilm has to consider these possibilities, we believe they absolutely made the right choice to respect Carrie Fisher’s life, performance, family, and legacy by not digitally recreating her likeness so soon after her passing.
More in our original story below:
It’s been just over a week since Carrie Fisher passed away, and we are far from over that loss. While Fisher and mother, Debbie Reynolds, were laid to rest today, the Lucasfilm creative team is now in the early stages of figuring out what Fisher’s untimely death means for General Leia Organa. It’s been confirmed that Fisher finished filming her part in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII, but everything after that remains unknown. Today’s Nerdist News is examining a new report that may offer some hints about Leia’s fate in the years to come.
Before you go any further, there are some spoilers ahead for both Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fisher was originally supposed to have an even larger role in Episode IX than she will in Episode VIII. The report noted that scenes featuring Leia’s reunion with her brother Luke Skywalker, and her confrontation with her son Kylo Ren were planned to take place in the franchise, though we have no indication just yet of which film will feature either or both of these sequences. It’s possible that the Skywalker reunion was already set for Episode VIII, but that could still mean that we won’t see Leia take on her fallen son.
As for how Lucasfilm might proceed, the two primary options for Leia’s continued role in the film series may be unpopular. One idea is that the Episode IX script could be revised to give Leia a significantly reduced role in the conclusion of the new trilogy. The other potential way to go is to recreate Fisher’s likeness with CG, just as we saw done with her younger likeness in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It may be quite a while before we know which option will be used, but Lucasfilm has just under a year to decide for certain; Episode IX isn’t expected to begin filming before early 2018. Whatever they decide, there is no replacing Carrie Fisher in our hearts, even if Star Wars does have to continue on without her.
How do you think Fisher’s absence should be addressed in the Star Wars sequels? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.