Star Wars: Episode IX may use footage of the late Carrie Fisher to conclude her role as General Leia Organa, according to her brother, Todd Fisher. Since her tragic death this past December, many fans (myself included) wondered how Fisher would be affect her role in the franchise. Leia is as beloved by fans as much as Fisher was, so continuing on with the saga without Leia doesn’t seem right. After news broke that Fisher had finished filming for Star Wars: Episode VIII, and was a larger more centric role, fans began to speculate on how Lucasfilm and Disney would handle the princess turned general in Episode IX.
A huge worry that several fans had was that Leia’s role was going to be changed due in The Last Jedi during reshoots that would possibly included her characters demise as a way of explaining her absence in Episode IX. It now looks like Leia’s role will remain unchanged, causing those same fans to have a sense of relief.
Fisher’s brother, Todd revealed that he and Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd have given Lucasfilm the rights to use unused footage of Fisher from the prior two Star Wars movies. CGI being used to recreate Leia was debunked in the days following Fisher’s death, but Todd spoke with New York Daily News at the TCM Film Festival and 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.”
This is a smart move on Lucasfilm part to keep Leia apart of the story without relying on CGI and it shows the respect the studio had for Fisher. As a fan, this is great news since Leia had a considerably larger role in The Last Jedi and Episode IX. Leia was always been more than just a princess and writing her off would have been an injustice to the legacy of the character. It is only fitting that Lucasfilm honor the legacy of the iconic character and give her a chance to complete her journey.