Carrie Fisher had already finished filming “Star Wars: Episode VIII” so Leia lives to fight another day

It’s a question we don’t really want to ask right now, but we know we have to because it’s on our minds: In the wake of Carrie Fisher’s death, what happens to Star Wars: Episode VIII?

It might seem like a weird thing to be thinking about after the passing of this ICONIC (love you forever, Carrie), but the Star Wars-loving part of our brain can’t help but drift there. The still-untitled Episode VIII will be released in 350 days, and knowing that the last Star Wars movie needed to go through extensive reshoots with the whole cast before it hit the bit screen…could the movie be in trouble? Was Carrie slated to return to a set again this summer for more scenes?

The short answer is no, everything about Episode VIII is fine. The film wrapped earlier this year, and it is already in post-production (that means, finishing touches, even though it’s still a year away from being released).

However, we have to address the tauntaun in the room, and Carrie’s passing will affect Episode IX. As Variety reports:

Sources [say] that Fisher’s work on the [first] sequel was finished. That means that Disney and LucasFilm, the producers of the Star Wars series, will not have to address Fisher’s death until the ninth film begins shooting in 2018. Leia was originally slated to appear in that production.

Reading this is incredibly sad for a few reasons, one of them being the obvious spoiler that Leia clearly survives the events of Episode VIII, and is still fightin’ for the Rebellion (or Resistance) come Episode XI. But now, that’s all going to have to be reworked, obviously — or maybe not. Come on, you’ve seen the end of Rogue One and you know the Leia magic that happens, if Disney and Lucasfilm wanted to go that route for the last Star Wars movie of this trilogy. If it’s decided against digitally adding Leia in, there’s also nothing that says Leia would need to be written out of the movie; she could still be on D’Qar, just in an unseen role.

However, all of this is too soon to tell. Episode VIII is still 12 months away, and Episode IX won’t hit theaters until (probably) 2019.

We’re still incredibly sad over the passing of Carrie Fisher, but at least we know, that whatever happens with the Star Wars story from here on out, Leia — and her spirit — lives on.

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