Following the tragic loss of Carrie Fisher last December, there had been talk about what this meant for the future of her iconic Star Wars character, Princess/General Leia Organa. While it was later confirmed Fisher had already completed work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi months before her passing and will appear in the movie as planned, the question remained about if Lucasfilm would find some way of incorporating her into Star Wars: Episode IX. While Carrie Fisher's brother, Todd Fisher, said last week that the plan was to include his sister using existing footage, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has set the record straight and said that the actress will not appear in Episode IX. She explained:
Unfortunately Carrie passed away, so by the time we were well underway with Episode IX in our thoughts, we had not written a script yet. But we've regrouped, we started over again in January, so sadly Carrie will not be in IX.
Kathleen Kennedy provided this explanation in an interview with Good Morning America, while also reaffirming that we'll see "a lot" of Carrie Fisher later this year in The Last Jedi. So contrary to what Todd Fisher believed was in the works, Star Wars: Episode IX will not be using footage or performing any kind of digital work to recreate her (as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story did with her 1970s self), making The Last Jedi truly her final film role.
You can listen to Kathleen Kennedy's full comments in the video below.
Before her passing, Carrie Fisher was reportedly going to have some "major moments" in Episode IX. Whether we ever find out what those moments were or learn how Fisher generally would have been involved in the movie is unclear, but going off Kathleen Kennedy's comments, it sounds like her, director Colin Trevorrow and the other creative minds on Episode IX didn't waste anytime figuring out how to movie forward without her. Trevorrow said earlier this month that a draft of the movie is complete, but with two more years to go until its release, there's still plenty of time to iron out the details and give Leia a proper indirect sendoff before shooting begins. As one of the original Star Wars players introduced 40 years ago, she deserves nothing better.
Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on May 23, 2019. In the meantime, we can still look forward to Carrie Fisher's prominent presence in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which arrives on December 15.