According to Deadline, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy confirmed on Friday that Princess Leia will not be appearing in Star Wars: Episode IX. She told ABC News at Star Wars Celebration that "Sadly, Carrie will not be in [Episode] Nine. But we will see a lot of Carrie in [Episode] Eight."
This is in stark contrast with what Carrie Fisher's brother, Todd Fisher, shared earlier this month. Though Lucasfilm may have the rights to use Carrie Fisher's image in future endeavors, it looks like they will not be digitally recreating her for the third film in the trilogy.
Wherever you land on the subject, we're glad that Lucasfilm has taken this issue so seriously, as she is not only an iconic character in this beloved franchise, but also part of the larger Star Wars family, and someone who is deeply missed every day.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi may not mark the last time Leia Organa appears in the saga. We know from comments by Disney CEO Bob Iger that Carrie Fisher's death in December 2016 didn't affect Episode VIII. They didn't change the story and her performance will remain as it was. As Lucasfilm has stated they have no plans to digitally recreate Fisher as Leia, it seemed like The Last Jedi would mark the final appearance of the iconic character. But, that may not be the case.
The Hollywood Reporter brought to our attention that Carrie's brother Todd Fisher told New York Daily News on Thursday that he and Billie Lourd, Carrie's daughter, have given Disney permission to use previously captured footage of Carrie for Episode IX. He said, "Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don't... I think the legacy should continue."
Todd Fisher reports Disney wants to include Leia in Episode IX, slated for a 2019 release. If this is the case, it's up in the air as to how much footage would be included in the upcoming Colin Trevorrow film. A small nod could serve as meaningful goodbye to bring Leia's story to a close. Given her role in the Star Wars universe, she deserves the grandest of endings--or at least one befitting of the character. Leia's more the quiet, dignified sort after all.
But the part making me a bit squeamish is the idea of them saving footage recorded for Episode VIII in order to stretch out the remaining Leia scenes. None of us want to let go of the princess and general we have on a pedestal. I so understand that. However, if they're not planning to change Leia's story in The Last Jedi, then where is this footage coming from? The last thing I want to see is any sort of promotional material with "Goodbye, Leia" messaging for Episode IX. The optimist in me doesn't think Lucasfilm would allow that. The cynic in me... well, let's keep fingers crossed.
Ultimately, what I think as a fan isn't as important in this case. Those closest to Carrie have given their permission. I like to imagine what Carrie would say about all of this. She'd undoubtedly use her cutting wit to make some some on-point, humorous remark.
Would you want to see Carrie Fisher in Episode IX? If so, how big of a role do you think she would play in the story? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments.