What Will Carrie Fisher’s Death Mean For ‘Star Wars’ Episodes 8 And 9?

Carrie Fisher’s death has sent Star Wars fans into a state of mourning. The actress, who portrayed Princess Leia Organa in the famous films, sadly died on December 27, following a heart attack she suffered days earlier. The iconic actress was the daughter of Hollywood royalty Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, and is best remembered for her role as Leia.

Now, fans are wondering what Carrie Fisher’s death means as Star Wars Episode 8 and Episode 9 are set for release over the course of the next few years. What will happen to the character of Princess Leia, and will the movie have to stray from the original concept?

According to Heavy, Carrie Fisher has already filmed all of her scenes for Star Wars Episode 8. The filming for the movie ended in July, long before Fisher’s untimely death. This means that the next film should play out exactly as is was meant to, unless it needs to be adapted it to explain Princess Leia’s absence in Episode 9. Fans will get to see Carrie Fisher’s final performance as Leia when Episode 8 is released in December 2017.

How will Carrie Fisher's death affect Star Wars Episodes 8 and 9?
[Image by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images]

Meanwhile, Episode 9 has yet to begin filming, and with Carrie Fisher’s death, it seems that there are some big decisions to be made. Execs could recast the role of Princess Leia, but Star Wars fans would likely reject anyone but Fisher in the role. Since Carrie is the only person to ever play the part, viewers would be outraged if the current trilogy ended with someone else trying to fill Fisher’s shoes.

It seems probable that writers could tweak the storyline to explain Leia’s absence. However, it would be a bit difficult since Leia is currently the leader of the Resistance, and the only living parent to the movie’s new villain, Kylo Ren. Some Star Wars fans are now wondering if the character will be killed off altogether, much like her counterpart, Han Solo, was in The Force Awakens. Sadly, it seems that Leia and her brother Luke were supposed to play very significant roles in the next two films. Director Collin Trevorrow revealed that the twins are “icons” and hinted that they would be essential in closing the new trilogy out.

However, there could be another solution. Carrie Fisher’s likeness could be recreated through CGI. Star Wars fans who recently watched the stand alone film, Rogue One, were treated to a Princess Leia cameo at the end, where a very young CGI version of Carrie Fisher made an appearance to tie the movie into the original trilogy.

Will Princess Leia be killed off following Carrie Fisher's death?
[Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images]

It seems that Disney could shift the storyline away from Princess Leia, but still include her in the pivotal scenes through CGI, and by using stand-in actors to create the illusion of Leia’s presence. This could be a good option for the franchise as, now more than ever, Star Wars fans would like to see the iconic character of Princess Leia get the proper goodbye that she deserves. However, a CGI version of Carrie Fisher’s likeness would have to be decided as being in the best interest of the franchise, and Fisher’s family, if they believe that is what the beloved actress would have wanted.

CCO of Industrial Light and Magic, John Knoll, recently revealed to The New York Times that Lucasfilm doesn’t plan to use the CGI technology to recreate dead actors going forward. However, that was before Carrie Fisher’s shocking and tragic death.

“It is extremely labor-intensive and expensive to do. I don’t imagine anybody engaging in this kind of thing in a casual manner. We’re not planning on doing this digital re-creation extensively from now on. It just made sense for this particular movie.”

How do you think the Star Wars franchise should move forward with the character of Princess Leia after Carrie Fisher’s death?

[Featured Image by CJ Rivera/Getty Images]