Princess Leia Was Going to Play a Large Role in Star Wars: Episode IX

Image: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm/Disney
Image: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm/Disney

Reportedly, Lucasfilm and Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow will meet soon to discuss their options moving forward.


According to The Hollywood Reporter’s sources, Leia had two key scenes planned out for Episodes VIII and IX, and they’re both pretty much what you’d expect (and want): a reunion with her brother, Luke, and a confrontation with her son, Kylo Ren. There’s no word on which, if either of these were scripted for Episode VIII, which Carrie Fisher had finished filming before her death, or were planned for the ninth Saga film.

However, The Hollywood Reporter also claims that Leia was going to have a larger role in the ninth movie than the eighth. That backs up a December 30 report about the amount Disney might get as a result of an insurance policy taken out if Fisher couldn’t finish filming on Star Wars. Plus, it seems likely to me that if one of those scenes was in Episode VIII, it would be the brother-sister reunion.

Trevorrow, who is writing and directing Episode IX, is set to meet with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy next week to talk through what to do. It seems like the options are a) write Leia out, either by death or by some convenience or b) create a CG Leia, like they did for Rogue One. The latter isn’t going to be without controversy, since it barely worked for the cameo there and, to many, it still feels wrong to resurrect dead actors this way. The former leaves us with either conveniently putting Leia out of touch with the main storyline or having her die, in-universe. But I have to say, an off-screen death also seems like a poor way for Leia to go out.

There’s really no good option here and decisions have to be made by people still grieving.

Katharine is the Associate Director of Policy and Activism at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the former managing editor of io9. She writes about technology policy and pop culture.


Angrier Geek

I do not envy these people. It’s raw and sensitve as hell and no matter what choice they make it’ll be the wrong one to a number of people.

That said I’m for simply recasting. It’s part of why I don’t get this need to try and CGI dead actors.  Re. Cast. Mainly because I want the character of Leia to get her due as the strongest muthafucka in the SW universe (Anakin broke, her son broke and Luke & Han ran away; only Leia has stood strong no matter what) and CGI cannot convey that and certainly not an offscreen death. Confer with Fisher’s family and get someone she respected to complete Leia’s story, but complete it with some dignity.