Carrie Fisher’s General Organa Will be a Part of Star Wars: Episode IX
When Carrie Fisher passed away last year, we were all stunned and saddened. She was an icon for so many people (and for so many reasons), and it was hard to imagine Hollywood, let alone that galaxy far, far away, without her. This past March, we wrote about how filmmakers Rian Johnson, director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Colin Trevorrow, director of Star Wars: Episode IX, might handle her passing. When Disney CEO Bog Iger spoke at the USC Marshall School of Business, he offered some insight into how Fisher’s death would, and would not, play into the remaining two films in the Skywalker saga.
“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…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.”
Fisher had already completed shooting her scenes for The Last Jedi, but how might they handle giving her a proper goodbye in Episode IX? As Iger had said, they already nixed any notion of using CGI to bring Fisher back to life on the big screen again. It turns out, Fisher’s brother Todd Fisher spoke with the New York Daily News and said that Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, who had a small role in The Force Awakens, has granted Disney and Lucasfilm permission to use existing footage that was shot for both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi so that General Organa can play a part in Episode IX.
“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 leaves a lot of questions; such as if we’re comparing General Leia to Obi Wan, than we will see her pass on? And how might that happen? We already know that they haven’t changed the storyline of The Last Jedi, which General Organa presumably survives.
What we can be sure of is that they’ll be using the extra footage captured in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi to place General Leia in scenes in Episode IX, giving her a chance to have proper narrative closure for one of the most important figures in the entire Star Wars canon. How they go about this is a mystery that won’t be solved for many years, but we’ll get our first clues on December 15, 2017, when The Last Jedi hits theaters.