After Carrie Fisher’s tragic death, the one question Star Wars fans kept asking was who would play General Leia on screen. Now that ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ is confirmed, the filmmakers have finally answered the question. They will use unused footage of General Leia from The Force Awakens in the new episode.
Director J.J. Abrams’ released a statement about the decision saying,
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher. Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
He clarified that killing off or recasting General Leia is tasteless, and the idea of making a Star Wars film without Fisher associated with it is no good. That’s why the CGI trick!
Producers will now have to use tricky technology to recycle unused footage to complete the story in the new film. The responsibility falls on Abrams, who directed The Force Awakens but not 2017’s The Last Jedi, and is tasked with concluding the new trilogy of Star Wars films. Princess Leia’s character was alive at the end of The Last Jedi. So to keeping the spark alive will be a hardcore job for Abrams who will need to either build a satisfying story around her using the scraps of footage or use it to film the death of her character in Episode IX. Fisher’s unexpected death from heart problems gave the filmmakers a major problem since Episode IX had originally planned to focus heavily on Princess Leia.
After Fisher’s death, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told Vanity Fair “She was having a blast”.
“The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX’. Because Harrison was front and centre on VII, and Mark is front and centre on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been,” it added.
At the end of The Last Jedi, Princess Leia is standing as the last one from the original trio of heroes for Episode IX.
Feature Image Credit: Cultured Vultures