What Should Star Wars Episode VIII and Episode IX Do About General Leia Organa?

On the one hand, I know it truly feels too soon to discuss how the upcoming Star Wars movies can or should handle Carrie Fisher’s death; on the other, Lucasfilm is already holding meetings, so …

THR reports that Kathleen Kennedy and Episode IX director, Colin Trevorrow will get together next week to talk about the options. Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII has already completed shooting, but based on whats decided, perhaps further edits will become necessary. It’s crushing all around for fans and for the filmmakers, especially in light of news that General Leia was to have a bigger storyline in IX. According to sources, ***Minor Spoilers for VIII/IX follow***

… at least two key scenes are planned for Episode VIII (Dec. 15) and Episode IX (2019): a Leia reunion with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and a confrontation with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), her son who killed Harrison Ford’s Han Solo in 2015’s The Force Awakens.”

***End Spoilers***

The choices are obvious, and none of them sound particularly great:  Digital editing, recasting, or *deep breath* killing the character offscreen. I must say, for me that last choice feels out of the question; almost a slap in the face. It’s heartbreaking enough we’ve lost the fabulous Ms. Fisher; I don’t know if fans can stand the thought of losing Leia as well (especially on top of Solo’s death). I’ve heard a lot of criticisms of Rogue One‘s use of digital effects with

Rogue One Spoiler
though they didn’t much bother me; if future Leia is kept around two more films, it could get pretty weird.

Recasting for Episode IX might be acceptable. It worked pretty well for Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series,

though it’d be incredibly difficult to find another actress who has that very particular Fisher je ne sais quoi. Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep are both excellent candidates with great humor and might be able to carry the role, but still, something would always feel off.

There is, however, an interesting option and it feels close enough to home to be viewed in a Carrie-ing the torch sort of way.

What if Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd took over for her mother? I’d much rather see Lourd aged with make-up (granted, that would require magical skills, and probably some added effects) than have a stand-in with effects, and it would just feel authentic.

Whatever the decision Lucasfilm makes, it’s going to be rough saying goodbye to Fisher’s iconic character. For decades she’s been a symbol of intelligence and strength, of beauty, wit and breaking chains, and a hero everyone could share. We shall look up to her forever.



Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis has been writing about the entertainment industry for ​over eight years, and is the ​Editor-in-Chief at Oohlo, where she muses over television, movies, and pop culture. Previous Senior News Editor at Pajiba, and published at BUST.

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    • I don’t see that as a problem. She was barely onscreen.

  • i’m sad just thinking about it

  • AngelenoEwok

    I really hope they write the character out as gracefully as possible — something similar to what Furious 7 did with Paul Walker would be okay with me. But it would really, really rub me wrong if they replaced her (digitally or with another actor entirely) and drug out her storyline beyond 8. This is even more sensitive than the F&F or Harry Potter movies, because this character and actor have been entertwined for 4 decades.

    • emmalita

      I agree. I would rather have her written out, maybe make an appearance as a hologram briefly, if necessary. I found the digitally remastered you know what I’m talking about if you saw the end of Rogue One creepy. I’d like to avoid that. Carrie Fisher was such a personality that I can’t see recasting Leia, not even with her daughter.

  • I don’t want them to kill Leia unless that is where the story was going. That removes her from any future stories (movies, books, comics, games, etc) and that would really suck. I’d be fine with a recasting but I really don’t want them to go the digital route.

  • THEasscrackbandit

    I really don’t want to think about it just now. Leave that hard decision to the people who get paid to deal with it. I’ll just add that me, my niece and nephew rewatched The Force Awakens last weekend and I noticed something for the first time: In her last shot of the movie, when her and the resistance fighters stand waving as the Falcon leave, she’s standing next to her daughter. They knew she had passed, but they’re kids so it was little hard to explain why I immediately burst into tears.