A few weeks after her very sad passing, fans are still mourning the loss of the great Carrie Fisher, who died on December 27th, 2016 aged 60. Known to a generation of filmgoers as Princess Leia from the first three Star Wars films before reappearing in J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well as its follow-up, Star Wars: Episode VIII, which arrives this Christmas (via ThePlaylist).
Indeed such is her role in the new film due at the tail end of the year, (rumoured to be much larger than in The Force Awakens), many have wondered what Disney and Lucasfilm planned to do with the character in the announced Episode IX for which Fisher was due to reprise her role once more. Last week, the rumour mill went into overdrive with news that the studios may look to use CGI to bring Leia Organa back but in an unprecedented move, Lucasfilm has responded to the rumours and released a statement saying the following:
We don’t normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumor circulating that we would like to address. We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa.
Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to Star Wars.
As you can see, it is very rare that either studio responds to the internet rumour mill but have taken the smart decision to lay such rumblings to bed. Additional word has been that Fisher’s role in Episode IX was apparently “significant” and that the studios and director Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) were getting together to discuss how to approach the film without her. Whatever they decide, both films will certainly bring some tears when they are released given Fisher and Leia’s impact through the years.
Star Wars: Episode XIII arrives on December 15th; Episode IX is set for release in 2019.