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We know that plans for the current Star Wars trilogy have been forced to go through major changes following the death of Carrie Fisher. However, there's still a lot we don't know about what those original plans actually were. Now, Mark Hamill has spoken out and confirmed something that a lot of Star Wars fans had believed, that Star Wars: Episode IX was being set up to be her movie. According to Hamill...
She deserved that second act. Harrison was more prominent in VII, I'm more prominent in this one, and she was meant to be more prominent in the last one. Her timing was perfect, except in this case.
It's a theory that many, including this writer, had almost immediately following Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That movie featured Harrison Ford's Han Solo prominently, as a major character in the plot, right up until the end. General Leia didn't arrive until the latter portion of the story and Luke Skywalker wasn't discovered until the very end. Before we even learned the name of Star Wars: Episode VIII, it made sense that Luke would be a big part of the next movie, you don't reveal him at the end of the last film and then ignore him, but that again would leave Carrie Fisher as a secondary player. It made sense then, to give her time to shine in the final film, thus giving each key player from the original trilogy their own movie, as Hamill refers to it to the New York Times, their "second act."
Fisher had made comments to the effect that she wanted a bigger role in Star Wars: Episode IX, and it did seem like there was a plan to do that, a plan which went away following the death of Carrie Fisher last December.
It's possible that Carrie Fisher's death was a major contributing factor to the massive changes that Star Wars: Episode IX is now going through. Colin Trevorrow has left the project as director and J.J. Abrams is back. In addition to that change, the script process is starting over. Whatever the original plan was, and even whatever initial changes they had planned to make, are all out the window as the final chapter is now being written from scratch. The final version of Star Wars: Episode IX may bear little resemblance to whatever was initially envisioned.
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Fans will be sad that Carrie Fisher will never get the proper send off that she was planned to have, and that she truly deserved. Instead, Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be her swan song. It's still not clear how that movie may have been changed following the actress's death. We'll finally get to see for ourselves on December 15.