Disney and Lucasfilm are set to meet this week to discuss their options following Carrie Fisher’s death on December 27.
While Carrie Fisher had already shot her scenes for Star Wars: Episode III before she passed, it was believed that she’d have an even bigger role to play as Princess Leia in Star Wars: Episode IX. Her untimely death means that huge adjustments will have to be made to Episode IX.
The Hollywood Reporter then went on to reveal two key scenes from the upcoming sequels to The Force Awakens that will involve Princess Leia. The first of these is a Leia reunion with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), which is going to be particularly emotional to see following Fisher’s passing. While the other sees Princess Leia confronting her son Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), who killed his father Han Solo (Harrison Ford) back in The Force Awakens.
No details have been released regarding which films these scenes will pop up in. But since the return of Luke Skywalker was shown right at the end of The Force Awakens it’s safe to assume that the reunion will pop up in Episode 8, with Leia and Ren’s interaction saved for the climax of that film or Episode 9.
It has already been confirmed that Rian Johnson, who has written and directed Star Wars: Episode 8, has finished shooting the blockbuster, and he now has 11 months to work on post-production on the film ahead its released on December 15, 2017.
Carrie Fisher’s death is likely to have a huge impact on Star Wars: Episode 9. Despite being asked for an update on the status of Episode 9’s script, Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly haven’t revealed how much work they’ve got left to do on the screenplay for the film, which is expected to go into production at some point in early 2018. Both The Force Awakens and Episode VIII went into production at the start of the year, so there’s a good chance that will be the case for Episode 9, too. Especially since it also has a December release date scheduled, too, with the film arriving in 2019.
The Hollywood Reporter have alleged that Colin Trevorrow, who as well as co-writing is also set to direct Episode 9, will be in Los Angeles the week of January 10th to meet with Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy about possible alterations to the film following Carrie Fisher’s death. A source for the publication also made sure to point out that it will give those involved time to grieve, too, as the insider noted, “People are still deeply mourning Carrie’s death over there.”
Since Episode IX currently doesn’t have a production start date scheduled, and is at least a year away from its rumored one, there’s still plenty of time for Kennedy and Johnson to pick a plan. There are a number of options to consider, which include re-writing or re-shooting scenes in Episode 8, and heavily re-writing Episode 9. The success of Rogue One’s special effects means that there’s always a chance Lucasfilm and Disney might decide to include Leia in a reduced role, too, which could see Fisher’s digital likeness again being used for scenes.
Kathleen Kennedy previously confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that the Star Wars team were going to meet in January to discuss the future of the franchise. At the time she admitted the following.
“But we are planning to sit down in January, since we will have had The Force Awakens released, now Rogue One, and we’ve finished shooting Episode VIII. We have enough information where we can step back a little bit and say, What are we doing? What do we feel is exciting? And what are some of the things we want to explore?”
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]