The sudden passing of Carrie Fisher in December of 2016 left her family, friends, and fans heartbroken. Her death also caused a variety of rumors regarding how Leia Organa would be depicted in future films. While the character’s fate might be unknown, Mark Hamill, who played on-screen sibling Luke Skywalker, knows that Fisher can never be replaced.
In a recent interview, Hamill said:
”First of all, I don’t know what the specific plans were for that character but just the way Han Solo was more prominent in [Episode] VII, Luke more prominent in VIII, we assumed Leia would be more prominent in IX, especially since the dynamic of having Kylo Ren as her son. I think it would be tough recasting Carrie because she is so indelibly linked to that character.”
‘The Last Jedi’ writer and director Rian Johnson confirmed that he did not wish to alter Fisher’s final performance, with Leia surviving the events of the film, positioning her for a return in ‘Episode IX.’ Further, Lucasfilm has confirmed they won’t attempt to digitally recreate the actress in any way, leaving many fans to wonder about the possibilities.
Hamill commented on this, saying:
“They’ve already ruled out of a computer-generated performance like they did with Peter Cushing [in Rogue One] so, gee, that’s gotta be a really, not insurmountable problem, but I know that the script had been in development so that when we lost her they had to go back to square one. But she is irreplaceable, you know, as far as I’m concerned.”
Hoping to quell many of the rumors surrounding the issue, the studio released a statement weeks after Fisher’s passing which read:
“We don’t normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumor circulating that we would like to address. We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa. Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to Star Wars.”
Fans will find out Leia’s fate when ‘Episode IX’ heads to theaters on December 20, 2019.