Star Wars: Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow promises that his sequel trilogy finale will pay the ultimate respect to the late great Carrie Fisher, who tragically passed away following a heart attack last December. The actress returned to the galaxy far, far away in 2015 to reprise her iconic role of Princess (now General) Leia in The Force Awakens and appears once more in this December's The Last Jedi. Word is Fisher has a sizable role in Episode VIII, and many can't wait to see the performance she gave. Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed her part remains unchanged and no revisions were made to the story after her death.
What remains to be seen is how Lucasfilm will handle the character for Star Wars 9. They have already announced they will not digitally recreate Fisher's likeness (as they did for Peter Cushing in Rogue One) or repurpose old footage from the previous films. It's becoming increasingly likely the character of Leia won't be in Episode IX at all, but Trevorrow is going to make sure Fisher's memory is honored in the movie.
While speaking with The Irish Examiner (hat tip Star Wars News Net), Trevorrow talked about how Fisher's death impacted the production, mentioning she originally was going to be a key focus of the film:
"She had a major role in the film and it’s something we had to deal with emotionally at first. Now we’ve had to deal with it in very practical ways and in a form of storytelling we know is going to honor her and keep her soul alive, but it is an unfortunate reality that we’re just going to have to handle. It’s been tough emotionally – and logistically we’ll figure that part out, but she was just very important to the Star Wars family and that was the hardest part."
The creative team started over when Fisher passed away, and with principal photography scheduled to begin in January 2018, they've probably decided on the best course of action. A precedent to follow could be last year's Star Trek Beyond, which gracefully incorporated the passing of Leonard Nimoy into the narrative by integrating it into Spock's character arc. Something similar could be done for Leia, where main Resistance figures like Poe Dameron and Finn are informed of the General's death early in the movie and decide to rally together in her memory to finish the fight against the First Order. Having the heroes embody Leia's principles in a climactic battle would be a touching and emotional way of having the character influence the action, even though the actress who played her is sadly no longer with us.
What's important to remember is the people at Lucasfilm understand better than anybody how vital Leia and Fisher are to the Star Wars community, so this is definitely not a matter they will treat lightly. How Leia's storyline is ultimately resolved will be something the fans keep a close eye on, as everyone wants it to make sense for the narrative at hand while also paying tribute to the legend. It's a terribly unfortunate situation for the filmmakers to be in, but the brain trust has done an excellent job managing the sequel trilogy so far, so they've earned trust to handle this in the best way possible.
Source: Star Wars News Net
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019