Little is known about what will happen in Star Wars: Episode IX, but it is clear that Carrie Fisher’s untimely death has sadly forced Lucasfilm to change whatever they had planned for Leia’s role. The character is alive at the end of The Last Jedi, but Lucasfilm seems to be indicating that they won’t recast Leia or bring her back with CGI. Fisher’s brother, Todd Fisher, doesn’t know what Lucasfilm plans to do either, but says that he’d like for Leia to return, just like Yoda, which is a bit of an odd comparison.
While speaking to Variety on Monday in promotion of his book My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie, Fisher expressed an interest in seeing his sister make a posthumous return to Star Wars as Leia.
“Yoda came back in the last movie, so why not Carrie?” Fisher said. “In the first film, Obi-Wan says that if he dies, he’ll come back stronger than ever. I feel like that’s Carrie. She’ll never disappear entirely.”
It’s a nice sentiment, though given how Rogue One’s resurrection of Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin was something straight out of the uncanny valley, it’s unclear how a CGI Leia might look.
Todd Fisher is also comparing apples to oranges, in a way. Yoda and Obi-Wan were both fictional characters, so there weren’t as many logistical or ethical hurdles involved in bringing them back from the dead. Yoda, especially, is a different story, since he’s a special effect, and his original voice actor Frank Oz is still alive.
Episode IX doesn’t need to bring Leia back from the dead — the character was alive, last we saw her. Instead, it needs to bring Carrie Fisher, a real person, back. That’s a trickier subject, and one that likely involves Fisher’s estate signing off on, which further complicates the matter.
Star Wars: Episode IX comes out on December 20, so we’ll no doubt have a better sense of Lucasfilm’s post-Fisher plans for Leia by then. Perhaps what will happen is that none other than Lando Calrissian will return as the franchise’s new connection with the old guard.