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How Star Wars: The Last Jedi is Approaching Carrie Fisher’s Death

It was a devastating blow when Carrie Fisher passed away last December. Fisher meant so much to so many people, from Star Wars fans to the millions of people she touched with her books, screenplays, and her many, many great roles throughout the years. Her last role was, of course, a return to the very character that had made her an international superstar—Princess Leia. Fisher had already returned (now as General Organa) in J.J. Abrams Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and had recently finished filming her scenes in Rian Johnson’s upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi when she passed away. What we’ve learned since then is General Organa was slated to have an even larger role in Colin Trevorrow’s Star Wars: Episode IX. Would her character’s arc need to be changed now in The Last Jedi?

Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke at the USC Marshall School of Business, and of course the conversation eventually turned to Star Wars. Periscope captured the discussion, in which Iger told the students what he could about the decision making process after Fisher passed away:

“We’ve had to deal with tragedy this past year because Carrie Fisher passed away tragically in December, and she appears throughout [Episode] 8. What I can say about that is she is in 8 and we’re not changing 8 to deal with her passing. So her performance, which we’re really pleased with, remains as it was in 8.

One thing that seems clear is that, unlike in Rogue One, when we see Fisher’s Princess Leia as she was in A New Hope (19-years old!), they won’t be doing anything CGI wizardry to bring her back for the final film:

“In Rogue One, we created digitally a few characters, one an actor that had actually passed away but had been in an earlier Star Wars film. We’re not doing that with Carrie, although technology gives the ability to do so many different things today.”

So The Last Jedi's narrative will remain unchanged despite Fisher's passing, which means that at some point in Episode IX they'll have to deal with General Organa's passing. Will they do this off screen? Will they explain it in exposition, or show it (without actually showing the General herself) in some form? Only time will tell. What we do know for certain is that Star Wars has lost one of its leading lights, and the world lost one of the funniest, smartest and most honest stars to have ever graced Hollywood. 

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The Credits

The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.

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