Even though Episode VIII: The Last Jedi hasn’t even come out yet, the persistent Star Wars question on everyone’s mind is about Episode IX: What will the filmmakers do about the character of Princess Leia after Carrie Fisher’s tragic passing? Director Colin Trevorrow spoke about the issue in an interview with CinemaBlend published on Monday, hinting that there are “only certain things” he is “willing to do.”
Trevorrow seems determined to tackle the problem in the most respectful way possible:
“She was a major character, that’s not a secret. She really was. And it was extremely sad for all of us, mostly just because she was so loved by the Star Wars family and everyone that worked with her. I feel like our options are limited mostly by ourselves, in that there is only certain things that we are willing to do. But I can guarantee it will be handled with love and respect, and all of the soul that Carrie Fisher deserves.”
That’s a relief to hear.
Carrie Fisher’s brother has said that Leia will definitely be in the movie, even though Fisher didn’t film any of its scenes before her death. Lucasfilm has said that they definitely won’t use CGI to simulate her as they did with both Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Trevorrow’s words seem to confirm both of those statements. In saying that “it will be handled,” he seems to imply that she will have some sort of role in the film, but his emphasis on doing it with “love” probably means that he won’t be taking the CGI route, which pretty much backfired in Rogue One. Many fans thought was disrespectful to the deceased actor Peter Cushing, who originally played Tarkin (Fisher was still alive at Rogue One’s release).
So how do we reconcile the idea that Leia will be in the movie, but without CGI? Will she only exist off-screen, referenced by other characters? Will they — gasp — get a different actress to play Leia?
It’s hard to imagine a fix that will satisfy every fan. There is no perfect solution; Carrie Fisher simply wasn’t superfluous.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the Star Wars film that used a CGI Princess Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin as The Force Awakens, instead of Rogue One.