Warning: potential SPOILERS for Star Wars Episode VIII ahead.
Carrie Fisher’s death on Dec. 27 was tragic for a number of reasons, but it also left a sizable hole for future Star Wars films to fill. Fisher had finished work on Star Wars Episode VIII prior to her passing, and sources indicate that her character will be involved in at least two key scenes: a reunion with her brother Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and a confrontation with her son Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) who killed Harrison Ford’s Han Solo in The Force Awakens. Various insiders have also noted that Leia was to have an even bigger role in Episode IX, which won’t begin shooting until early 2018 for a planned December 2019 release.
According to a new report from THR, Disney is planning to meet with the directors of Episode VIII and IX in the coming weeks to discuss their options for how Leia will fit into the rest of the franchise films. Colin Trevorrow, who helmed Jurassic World and is attached to direct Episode IX, will be arriving in L.A. the week of Jan. 10 to meet with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy to discuss their options.
One option is that Leia will be written out of Episode VIII altogether and that her scenes will be reshot. As THR notes, Rogue One went through a major overhaul late in production and Episode VIII has as well during the writing stages, as director Rian Johnson was forced to overhaul his script after J.J. Abrams made his own story changes in The Force Awakens (Johnson’s first script was based off of early drafts for The Force Awakens). That being said, it’s unlikely that Disney would toss out Fisher’s work at this point, with Episode VIII representing her final film role prior to her death.
The more likely solution is that Disney will use CGI effects and reduce Leia’s role in Episode IX. According to one Star Wars source, “Rogue One is the road map,” referring to the film’s resurrection of Peter Cushing and a younger Carrie Fisher using expensive CGI technology.
“I have no doubt, given some of the recent work I’ve seen, there are filmmakers who will be willing to take up the challenge,” says Michael Fink, an Oscar-winning VFX supervisor who teaches at USC. But, “so far, we have seen moments of success but not full performances.” He says there’s also ethics to take into consideration: “Should we create additional roles for Princess Leia? I don’t think so.”
We’ll have more on this story as it develops.
(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)