The late Carrie Fisher’s brother and daughter have given Disney and Lucasfilm the go-ahead to feature Fisher in Star Wars: Episode IX. Todd Fisher, her brother, and Billie Lourd, her daughter, approved the use of some recent footage to ensure General Leia Organa’s part in the 2019 film.
“Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don’t,” said Fisher at TCM Film Festival, “She’s as much a part of it as anything, and I think her presence now is even more powerful than it was, like Obi Wan — when the saber cuts him down he becomes more powerful. I feel like that’s what’s happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue.”
It’s unclear how large a role Leia will play in Episode IX. Given that they’re using “recent footage,” mostly likely taken from The Last Jedi, my instinct is that it won’t be huge. Lucasfilm earlier indicated that they won’t use digital technology to create a CG Leia, so they’re limited to the footage they have on hand.
Either way, these will be some tough, tricky scenes to pull off. No one wants Fisher’s final Star Wars film to include nothing more than a lame, quick nod to her monumental role, but a lengthier compilation of awkwardly stretched-out footage would feel just as disrespectful. Disney and Lucasfilm need to avoid appearing either cynical or desperate, and with limited resources. I don’t envy them.
Still, I’m cautiously optimistic, because the people whose opinions matter most–Fisher’s family–have given Disney and Lucasfilm their approval. I hope these companies continue to seek their input as Episode IX comes together. As a fan, I have ideas about how I’d like Leia’s last appearance to go, but as long as her family feels that she’s been respected, I’ll be happy.
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