Carrie Fisher’s brother confirms she will play Princess Leia in Episode IX

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Spoilers for Rogue One
Many of us knew that Carrie Fisher had completed her footage for Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi before she died. The big question that followed her unexpected death was whether her character would be killed in the film to explain her absence in Episode IX or would they digitally recreate her like they did in Rogue One? After they horrifying result of an all CGI Grand Moff Tarkin, most fans hoped not. Lucasfilm assured us that there were ‘no plans‘ to subject General Organa to the same fate. However, over the weekend, Carrie’s brother Todd Fisher confirmed she will appear in Episode IX. So how? Apparently, they are using already shot footage:

Carrie Fisher had completed her work on Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi before her unexpected death in late December. Shortly after her passing, Lucasfilm confirmed that they had “no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa” in Episode IX. Now Fisher’s brother, Todd Fisher, confirmed that his sister’s character will appear in the last trilogy film.

Todd told the New York Daily News that he, along with Carrie’s daughter, Billie Lourd, gave Disney permission to use recent footage for the finale, and it is understood that no CGI would be used to recreate Leia. 

“Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don’t,” Fisher said. “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. I’m not the only part in that equation, but I think the people deserve to have her. She’s owned by them.”

Todd also stated that he has complete faith in the filmmakers “do great things” with his sister’s memory.

[From Deadline]

Like Todd, I also have faith in the filmmakers to an extent. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of The Force Awakens, my issue with the film was that I felt like I was watching A New Hope again, not that they didn’t get the Star Wars Universe. I am cautiously optimistic because it sounds like the footage they have is B Roll for The Last Jedi. Will they simply attempt to shoe-horn that into Episode IX? That sounds tricky. However, I found the concept for Rogue One incredibly clever so, you know what – I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Speaking of final footage, Carrie’s Fisher’s last acting role was appearing as Mia, Rob Delaney’s character’s mom on the Amazon series Catastrophe. I have not seen the show but think I may now have to watch it; many have said it was one of Carrie’s most feisty roles. Last Tuesday aired her final performance in the show, thought to have been filmed right before her death. The episode was dedicated to her and the fans reactions were quite emotional. As I said, I haven’t seen the show but I got all misty-eyed just reading their tweets. Disney is also honoring our beloved Princess with the highest honor they bestow. (Who knew Disney bestowed honors?) Carrie and screen-bro Mark Hamill will be among those inducted as Disney Legends, an honor reserved for those who have made an indelible impact on the company, at the D23 Expo in July. Even though this is a technicality because Disney bought Lucasfilm long after Luke and Leia became legendary, I’ll take it. They more reasons to keep Carrie’s memory alive in the press, the better.

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Photo credit: WENN Photos

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10 Responses to “Carrie Fisher’s brother confirms she will play Princess Leia in Episode IX”

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  1. Veronica says:

    CGI Tarkin wasn’t as bad as I expected, but given the increasing gains of digital technology, I remember thinking while I was watching that it’s going to open up a whole new can of worms about appropriate and respectable use of a person’s image in film.

    Although, it pleases me to know that Leia is going to survive to the third film. Now we just have to see if poor Luke manages to break the mentor’s curse in TLJ and stick around a bit longer. :)

    • teacakes says:

      I might be in the minority, but I didn’t mind Tarkin in Rogue One – didn’t realise he was entirely CGI until I left the theatre and googled because I was so confused about whether that was old cleaned-up footage of Peter Cushing or what. That uncanny valley demonic quality actually works quite well for Tarkin as a character.

      Leia was where the CGI didn’t work quite as well but the shot of her was only about 3 seconds so it’s not long enough to truly register anything wrong until people freeze-frame it.

    • Mia4s says:

      I talked to a surprising number of people who had no idea Tarkin was CGI. At least seven I know personally. So yes, it worked. I don’t think it’s that big a can of worms; it still requires an actor giving a performance. It’s more “digital makeup” than anything else.

      I’m definitely in the Rogue One>>Force Awakens camp because of how derivative Awakens was. Still, I’m hopeful. It’s sad that they won’t get to tell the exact story they were going for with Carrie passing but I do hope they’re able to do her character justice.

      • teacakes says:

        The Force Awakens was tremendous fun and the new gen cast did a great job but I agree, it definitely felt derivative and rather ‘so what?’ at times (you find Luke and he’s supposed to Obi-wan a new Jedi order? You have to blow up the new Death Star?). I just hope that now TFA basically raced through the entire OT’s plot points in one film, TLJ and Episode IX will do more of their own thing. I also have rather more faith in Rian Johnson than in JJ Abrams, so that helps.

        Rogue One was imperfect, but it felt fresher and more nuanced, and almost four months later, the initial good opinions seem to have held – it had a tougher job than TFA in some ways, but pulled it off.

      • Mia4s says:

        Oh I definitely enjoyed Force Awakens don’t get me wrong, but it was so totally unoriginal it got annoying. It started very strong, but got pretty dumb and predictable from the CGI monsters Han was transporting on. And blowing up another Death Star was lame. Rogue One’s ending managed a stunning battle with no trench run or reactor to blow up, so it can be done.

        Rogue One was more daring so I don’t think it’s a shock that as an adult I got more out of it. Force Awakens would play better for small children though, and that’s good, there’s nothing wrong with that. Something for everyone.

  2. Skylark says:

    Hecate, you have to watch Catastrophe. NOW! All three seasons! It is sublime on every possible level.

    And yes, Carrie’s Mia is everything. And although it’s incredibly sad that she’s gone, it’s very fitting and kind of uplifting that her last role showcased her talents so brilliantly.

  3. S says:

    We rewatched Rogue One this weekend, and then my kids wanted to watch Force Awakens again. It was the first time since Fisher’s death, and I admit I got weepy when she came onscreen and Harrison Ford as Han Solo sees her. For some reason — maybe because I was a child of the ’80s who played 10,000 games of Star Wars with my friends — her death hit me very hard.

    We had rewatched both her one woman show, Wishful Drinking, and Postcards from the Edge in the days after Fisher’s collapse on the plane, then later the fabulous documentary on both she and Reynolds, so it’s not like I hadn’t seen Fisher onscreen before, but seeing her as Leia was especially poignant.

    By the way, Catastrophe is a BRILLIANT show, and Fisher is fantastic in it. Definitely not family friendly but completely hilarious. Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney are fantastic together and I can’t wait until the most recent season hits Amazon in the U.S.

  4. teacakes says:

    I’d seen Rogue One three times before Carrie passed, and the first time, the sight of that iconic white dress from behind pretty much made me stop breathing (I went from devastated sobbing to complete terror to elation in the last five minutes, but Leia’s presence pretty much sent me to heaven).

    The last time, though, I sobbed all the way through – her death felt like a particularly awful blow given everything happening at the time, politically and in the film. I’m glad we’ll get to see Carrie again on film, and hope the footage they have works for the purpose.

  5. Lucy says:

    That picture of her holding the Stormtrooper’s hand against her cheek is quite lovely. It’s still hard to believe she’s gone.

  6. K says:

    I love those photos. Great choices.

    She was such a bright, courageous person, and from all accounts a truly kind and non-judgemental one as well. Her writing was wonderful and her Princess Leia was my childhood heroine – girls could be strong and leaders, too! She coped with so much in her all-too-brief life, but what a legacy.

    I’m so glad if they can include her in both remaining movies in a graceful and appropriate way.