The Star Wars universe came back in a big way last year with Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, which infused the main group from the original trilogy with a band of new heroes. For fans, it gave them another chance to see Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill back on screen as Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker. Unfortunately, today has been a sad one for the Star Wars universe as Fisher passed away at 60 years old following a heart attack just a few days prior.
The news is saddening on a number of levels, but Star Wars 7 will not be the last time that fans get to see Fisher in her most iconic role. Fisher will be reprising her role as General Leia in Star Wars: Episode VIII, and a new report says that she had finished her portion of filming ahead of these recent events.
TMZ is reporting that Fisher had "absolutely wrapped" filming on Episode 8 prior to her passing. However, with no details on Leia's role in the film, it is unknown how the film had originally been planned to leave her. Reportedly the same source told TMZ that is too early to tell how this will impact the films moving forward.
Following the end to The Force Awakens, Leia and the Resistance are put in a prime position for Episode VIII. With production on the film as a whole wrapping during this past summer, it is not a surprise to hear that Fisher had also finished working on the film. However, Lucasfilm and Disney have planned for reshoots at some point next year, and it is very plausible that these reshoots will be used to rework the end to Leia's arc.
While she may have finished work on Episode VIII, unless they had already planned to move on from Leia at some point in the movie, Leia would have undoubtedly been a factor in Episode IX. Production on the third installment in this trilogy is said to begin in the spring, which leaves the story group little time to figure out how to reshape the story without her. Whether it comes in Episode VIII or IX, Lucasfilm will surely figure out a way to have a fitting conclusion to her story.
Ultimately, fans will have to wait to see how exactly the Star Wars universe shifts moving forward, but specific details will likely not be revealed until right around the time of release. This news will undoubtedly have major ramifications on the franchise moving forward, but the current focus from the studios will be on finding a proper send off to one of Star Wars' most iconic characters.
- 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