Princess — or General — Leia will never die, and if Carrie Fisher’s brother has anything to say about it, she’ll be in Star Wars: Episode IX no matter what. But don’t take it as official confirmation just yet.
According to New York Daily News, on April 8 Carrie Fisher’s brother, Todd Fisher, said that both he and the late actress’s daughter, Billie Lourd, were adamant that General Leia will appear in the final installment of the contemporary Star Wars trilogy, due for release in 2019.
“Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don’t.” Todd Fisher made these comments while attending a gala at TCM Film Festival in L.A. While this could read as a confirmation that Leia will appear in Episode IX without digital enhancement (as many news outlets are claiming) it should be important to note these comments from Todd Fisher are totally out of context, and that they don’t reflect an official statement from Lucasfilm. In fact, on January 13, the powers that be at Lucasfilm released the opposite statement, indicating there would not be a CGI Carrie Fisher in future Star Wars films.
The current buzz about a reversal on a CGI Carrie Fisher is coming from conjecture in sources like the Daily News and The Guardian. These publications (and others) are speculating that CGI or archival footage will be used in Episode IX. It’s a good bet, but just because Todd Fisher has supposedly said he’s okay with it doesn’t make it true.
On March 23, Disney CEO Bob Iger also indicated Carrie Fisher’s role wouldn’t be changed for the next new films, Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi. “Carrie appears throughout VIII,” he said. “We are not changing VIII to deal with her passing. Her performance remains as it is in VIII. In Rogue One, we had some digital character. We are not doing that with Carrie.”
So, until an official announcement comes from Lucasfilm or Disney, or 2019 rolls around with a digital Leia in Episode IX, the future of Carrie Fisher’s posthumous involvement in Star Wars films beyond The Last Jedi remains unclear.
The Last Jedi opens on December 15. The first trailer for the film is expected this week at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, FL.