Fans continue to mourn the passing of Hollywood icon Carrie Fisher, who died last week following complications from a heart attack. The actress, of course, became world-famous when she first played the role of Princess Leia Organa in 1977's Star Wars. Fisher reprised the character multiple times in sequels, including 2015's The Force Awakens. She will be seen in the galaxy far, far away once more later this year when Star Wars: Episode VIII premieres. Shortly after Fisher's death, it was announced that she had filmed all her scenes for the sequel and will have a larger role when compared to Star Wars 7.
It has also been said that Lucasfilm planned to bring Fisher back for 2019's Star Wars: Episode IX, but it is too early to tell how the studio will handle this situation moving forward. As viewers await to see how General Leia's arc in the sequel trilogy concludes, a new report states that Disney is set to receive an insurance payout for $50 million.
The news comes courtesy of Insurance Insider (hat tip Heroic Hollywood), whose sources say Disney had taken out contract protection insurance in the event Fisher could not complete all her Star Wars obligations. It is believed that the policy will now be triggered following Fisher's death. London-based insurance market Lloyd's is prepared to handle the full claim, potentially spreading it across more than 20 carriers on the binder.
Fisher's passing is still fresh on everyone's mind, but this is a necessary (however uncomfortable) aspect of the business that has to be conducted. Once they collect the insurance money, the top priority for Disney and Lucasfilm will be finding a respectful and resonate way to resolve Leia's part in the narrative. It was speculated that director Colin Trevorrow would begin production on Star Wars 9 this spring, but that is likely to change as the story group gets together to plan something out. There are still about two years until that installment is due in theaters, so there's no rush to start rolling the cameras. It's highly important for the fans and the filmmakers that this is managed with grace and class, and that takes precedence over meeting a release date.
It will be interesting to see if there are any revisions made to Episode VIII so that film can be Fisher's sendoff. Writer/director Rian Johnson was in the editing bay back in August 2016, but that was before the inevitable reshoots and pickups (a part of every Hollywood tentpole) are filmed. Ultimately, it might be better if Star Wars 8 was the last time Leia appeared on film, especially since some of the alternatives available would make moviegoers feel extremely uneasy. This is an undoubtedly difficult time for all involved, but Lucasfilm understands better than most what Fisher meant to the franchise and community. If nothing else, fans should take solace in that, knowing the powers that be will work hard to ensure she is remembered fondly.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars: Rogue One / Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) release date: Dec 16, 2016
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018