Millions of fans around the world are still in mourning after the news that Carrie Fisher, the beloved actress and writer who shot to fame as the iconic Princess Leia in Star Wars, died yesterday after suffering a massive heart attack last week. This is definitely a tragic time for both fans and Fisher’s family and friends alike, but there was another pragmatic concern hanging over her passing: What happens with Star Wars without her?
After three decades, Fisher had reprised her role as Leia – now General Leia Organa – in last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and was set to do the same in its upcoming two sequels. Writer/director Rian Johnson’s still-untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII is scheduled for release at the end of 2017 and had officially wrapped principal photography in July already, but with the production’s secretive nature it was unknown if that included Fisher’s scenes?
Well, Deadline reports today that their sources confirm that the actress had already completed all her work as General Solo in the upcoming film, meaning that her untimely death should have no major impact on the production. Deadline goes on to reveal that unlike in The Force Awakens, in which she only showed up in the mid-point and then only appeared in a handful of scenes, Episode VIII would see Fisher have “a larger role”. This would have continued through to Episode IX (it’s also been confirmed that Fisher’s real-life daughter Billie Lourd, who had a minor role in The Force Awakens, will also be returning with more screen time).
It’s uncertain just how Lucasfilm will now adjust their plans in the wake of Fisher’s deaths. This is a situation not unsimilar to the one Universal found themselves in when Paul Walker passed away during the filming of Fast & Furious 7 as well. The difference is that while that was right in the middle of filming with Walker not having finished all of his scenes, Fisher has finished hers and Episode IX is only scheduled for release in 2019. They may just adopt a similar solution as Universal though, by tweaking the script to give the character an onscreen send-off.
Universal accomplished that feat by using a combination of deleted scenes, actor doubles and a digital recreation of Walker. [SPOILER ALERT] If you’ve seen Rogue One then you know that Lucasfilm is not adverse to using digital wizardry as they have already brought to life a young Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. But would it be appropriate to do the same for the current actress?
It’s certainly a very tricky and unfortunate situation to find themselves in, but I have faith in the folks at Lucasfilm to find a fitting and dignified solution to this. What do you think they should do?
Last Updated: January 3, 2017