Based on very early reports, General Leia was supposed to have a significant role in the new Star Wars trilogy. But with Carrie Fisher‘s tragic passing last year, it was unclear what would happen to Leia. Originally, the plan was to use existing footage for Episode IX. However, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy says that isn’t happening. In fact, they have been forced to write the script from scratch. More on the story below.
The confirmation comes to us from Good Morning America. You can watch a portion of that interview in the tweet right here.
As Kennedy said, the original rumor that Leia would appear in Episode IX using existing footage came from Todd Fisher, Carrie’s brother. We knew that Star Wars: The Last Jedi would not be edited to acknowledge her passing. But the fact that Leia could appear in Episode IX seemed somewhat controversial considering we don’t know what her role is in the sequel. Of course, there is also room for her to be in Episode IX the same way Peter Cushing‘s image was brought back to life for Rogue One. In fact, the digitally much-younger Leia in Rogue One used a piece of original dialogue from Carrie Fisher. So they could have repurposed unused footage for Episode IX, but now Kennedy’s comment confirms nothing like that will be happening.
So what will happen to Leia in Episode IX? Some are saying her character is likely to have been assassinated or killed, and the film would open with her funeral. That would seem more appropriate to her character than having her retire in the midst of an ongoing war between The Resistance and The First Order.
Whatever will be happening I’m sure Disney and Lucasfilm will address it in a respectful manner and one that will honor the memory of Carrie Fisher.
For now, you can watch the emotional tribute to Fisher in the video that was shown this past weekend at Star Wars Celebration.