The entire Star Wars fandom has been left in a daze for the past several weeks, ever since the unfortunate passing of Carrie Fisher due to complications from a heart attack the actress/writer/activist suffered on a transatlantic flight. Celebrities, fans, co-stars, and friends of the actress have all been sharing tributes and touching memories in the time since, and talk of how the Star Wars universe will continue on without Fisher there as Princess Leia has been an unfortunate piece of the discussion as well.
As most fans will likely already know, Fisher completed filming for this year’s Star Wars: Episode VIII last summer, which means fans can at least look forward to seeing Fisher reprising her role as General Leia Organa one more time on the big screen. In addition, Disney and Lucasfilm have shot down all rumors and speculation that they would be digitally recreating Fisher as Leia in the new film, much to the delight of concerned fans everywhere.
During her recent appearance at Elle’s Women in Television Event also, actress Laura Dern, one of Fisher’s new co-stars in Episode VIII talked briefly about Fisher’s legacy and role in the film with ET:
“I don’t know any of us who didn’t play Princess Leia for a Halloween, or in our life. What an incredible gift to to witness that whole legacy. We put a lot of focus currently on what it is to be a female icon, what it is to use your voice, what it is to be comfortable in your own skin. She has always been one of the most extraordinary beacons, an original screen icon.”
Now, not much is known about Dern’s role in Episode VIII as of yet, and the actress wouldn’t reveal any details about her character during the interview, only saying she’s having “the time of [her] life” as a new addition to the franchise. She’s one of three major new stars set to appear in the film, with the other two being Benicio del Toro and relative newcomer Kelly Marie Tran, and Lucasfilm has been unsurprisingly secretive and mysterious when it comes to revealing anything about the three new characters in the film. However, out of the three actors, Dern is the one who has been rumored to have the most interactions with Fisher’s Leia.
While nothing has been confirmed, of course, several previous reports have speculated that Dern will be playing an aristocratic politician in the Star Wars universe, with a striking hair color and costume design that apparently makes her character look more like a citizen of the Capitol from The Hunger Games franchise than anyone previously seen in the Star Wars universe. So if these rumors prove to be true, then that would explain Dern’s character having interactions with Leia, especially if Episode VIII is going to be exploring more of the political side of the Star Wars universe than The Force Awakens did, like some previous reports have suggested.