Rachel Paige
January 05, 2017 5:24 pm
Lucasfilm

The passing of Carrie Fisher in late December has left the world — and, the galaxy — in mourning. Love and memories continue to pour in for the iconic actress (/author, and all around badass woman) and while we’re still ridiculously sad over this news, we also have to look forward, specifically to what it means for the future of Star Wars.

Shortly after Carrie’s passing, it came to light that she had completely finished all of her work on the still-untitled Star Wars: Episode VIII. However, in the time since, we’ve learned that Princess General Leia Organa was actually set to have a much bigger role in the forthcoming Episode IX, and while it is depressing as hell to think about, Star Wars is already trying to figure out what to do without Carrie…and possibly, without Leia.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, there are two key Leia scenes coming up (no one is exactly sure if they happen in Episode VIII or IX, and Lucasfilm and Disney are not talking). One scene is a reunion between space-twins Leia and Luke. Another scene is a confrontation between Leia and her son Ben Solo Kylo Ren. One, or both of these scenes might happen in Episode VIII, with the other in IX. Or maybe they both happen in VIII, it’s unclear (actually, we can pretty much assume the Luke and Leia reunion happens in VIII, since the two were spotted together on the set of the movie all the time).

Even if both of these scenes happen in the next movie to hit the big screen, then what? THR has learned that Episode IX director, Colin Trevorrow, is coming to Los Angeles next week to meet with Disney and Lucasfilm as to what to do next.

An actor passing away mid-movie (or here, mid-franchise) is not completely unheard of. We are all only human, after all. The most recent example that springs to mind is Paul Walker’s death during Fast 8, and the movie was simply reworked to move his character, Brian, off-screen for the rest of the series (even though he is still very much alive). That same thing could happen to Leia, with her still holding down the Resistance, just in some remote far-off location in the galaxy.

And, considering how some characters in Rogue One were brought to life on the screen, Disney could digitally recreate Leia — however, note that there has been lots of pushback with this, mostly against CGI Grand Moff Tarkin, so more than likely, this is NOT the route Disney will take.

Most of this stuff is just too early to tell, seeing as how we’re still roughly 11 months away from Episode VIII, and close to two years away from Episode IX. Once again, there is some comfort in knowing that Carrie had wrapped everything for the next Star Wars installment, so Leia lives on in that movie, even if her scenes are reworked. As for what’s next, we’re just going to have to trust the Force.

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