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Star Wars: The Force Awakens General Leia in the war room

Carrie Fisher's untimely death last year left a hole in the hearts of her family and her fans. Naturally, with her character of General Leia Organa becoming a more important part of the Star Wars legacy with each passing film, there was a question as to how the character would be handled going forward. We don't know how it'll happen exactly, but we do know that Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be Leia's final on-screen appearance in the current canon - and according to John Boyega, the film handles this moment in a special way. The actor recently said,

This movie, it sends her off in a very amazing, amazing way. She's still kept alive in this franchise. You know, that's the beauty of it, she lives forever in a sense.

So while we don't know the specific fate of General Leia, it's confirmed that the character will live past Star Wars: The Last Jedi's fond farewell to her. Much like Furious 7's decision to retire Paul Walker's Brian O'Connor with one last ride, set to his own departing theme song, Fisher's iconic role sounds like one that'll be allowed to roam free through the Star Wars canon, just not in way that'll be visible on film. If done right, this decision could make one of Carrie Fisher's last wishes for Leia come true.

While we won't see General Leia Organa in Star Wars: Episode IX, that's not to say she won't be an important force on the film's story. In the presumed decision to keep Leia alive, based on John Boyega's remarks on Popcorn with Peter Travers, the character will still be able to influence future events in the world of Rey, Finn, and Poe's Resistance. So there's a chance that, much as Fisher had intended, her character will have more importance in Star Wars: Episode IX; even if it's in a slightly different way than she had intended.

In either respect, the fact that Star Wars: The Last Jedi has confidently settled on a way to handle the legacy of the woman we met as a Princess and saw turn into a General is something that also instills confidence in us, the eager audience. Though she seems ready to live on in that galaxy far, far away, we'll still find ourselves more than likely clutching to some Kleenex as we see one of Carrie Fisher's last screen appearances come to a triumphant end.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes to theaters in our galaxy on December 18th. If you're curious as to what other films are heading to theaters before then, feel free to check out our 2017 release date guide here.

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