In light of the untimely death of Carrie Fisher, movie-makers at Disney and Lucasfilm are beginning to look to Princess Leia’s future. Although Fisher has reportedly finished filming all of her scenes for the upcoming Episode VIII release this December, Leia was expected to play a much more significant part in Episode IX, which is slated for a December 2019 release. The over-arching storyline for the upcoming films included a reunion between Leia and Luke Skywalker, as well as a confrontation between Leia and Kylo Ren, who killed his father, Harrison Ford‘s Han Solo, in Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Now with Fisher gone, the fate of the character has yet to be fully realized.
Episode IX is set to be penned by filmmakers Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly (Safety Not Guaranteed, Jurassic World), and will also be directed by Trevorrow. Several options are being explored as to how to handle the character. One is to simply write-out the character altogether. However, given the weight of the character, I don’t personally see that as the right way to go. That said, Han Solo was killed off in The Force Awakens, so killing off Leia as well might be a justifiable option.
WARNING – VIDEO CONTAINS SPOILERS!!
Another option that will surely be discussed is to digitally recreate the character. For those that haven’t seen Rogue One (SPOILER ALERT!), the special effects department at Industrial Lights and Magic (ILM) used state-of-the-art CGI technology to resurrect Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin from Episode IV: A New Hope. The filmmakers also used the CGI effect to turn Carrie Fisher into a much younger Princess Leia for a small cameo in the film. Given the success of Rogue One, it stands to reason Leia could live again in an entire new film without Carrie Fisher having even been present, but the challenge of a main character would be a pretty big undertaking for the special effects department.
Regardless of whatever speculators may say, fans will surely be hoping to see Princess Leia live on in the next film. A documentary centered upon the lives of Carrie Fisher and her mother Debbie Reynolds titled Bright Lights, which premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, is also set for an upcoming release on HBO. The premier television company released a trailer for the documentary, which features the mother-daughter pair in intimate home video footage that has become even more iconic with their respective deaths just a few weeks ago. Both will surely be missed. Check back in for more news on Princess Leia and the upcoming Star Wars films.