Last year, Hollywood was hit hard with the death of Carrie Fisher, leaving Star Wars fans mourning for the loss of Princess Leia. After grief had passed, many wondered how the saga would proceed without Carrie Fisher able to return to the franchise. The actress had already completed her shooting for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but what would happen to Leia without Carrie Fisher around to give her a proper send-off?
Lucasfilm and Disney have already confirmed that visual effects will not be used to bring Carrie Fisher to life on the big screen again, even though they recently achieved the feat of bringing Peter Cushing back as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Instead, it turns out we’ll see Carrie Fisher returning for Star Wars Episode 9 thanks to existing footage of the actress.
The latest update on how the Star Wars saga will handle the passing of Carrie Fisher’s comes from the actress’ brother Todd Fisher. He spoke with The New York Daily News recently and revealed that he and Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd (who also has a small supporting role in the new Star Wars movies), granted Disney and Lucasfilm permission to use existing footage that was shot for The Last Jedi, as well as The Force Awakens, in order to allow General Leia to appear in Star Wars Episode 9. Here’s what he had to say:
“Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don’t. 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… To me, Star Wars is the holy grail of storytelling and lore and you can’t mess with it.”
The biggest question is what will happen to General Leia in order for us to say farewell to the character in the Star Wars saga? We know that Star Wars: The Last Jedi hasn’t been altered to account for the passing of Carrie Fisher, but since we don’t know what happens with her character in that movie, it’s tough to predict how we might see her appear in Star Wars Episode 9.
Though visual effects won’t be employed to create new “footage” of Carrie Fisher in the same way that Peter Cushing was brought back to life for Rogue One, the footage from The Last Jedi will need to be repurposed for use in Episode 9. So it’s likely visual effects may be used to digitally place General Leia in different scenes, or to have a stand-in appear and have dialogue from previously shot footage come from off-screen. It all depends on what kind of scenes we’re talking about. Hopefully the final moments fans get to spend with General Leia will be satisfying.