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Leia's promo image for The Last Jedi

There is no franchises quite as beloved as Star Wars, with the starring actors having an immortal place in pop culture. The late Carrie Fisher will always occupy a special place in moviegoers' hearts for her dynamic role as Leia Organa in the galaxy far, far away. While Leia got more time to shine in The Last Jedi, Fisher's untimely death in December of 2016 threw a wrench into the character's trajectory. J.J. Abrams' Episode IX was reportedly going to have a major focus on Leia, who have been the only surviving hero from the original trio. Lucasfilm hasn't given any indication of their plans for the character, but Carrie's brother Todd is hopeful she'll still appear in the upcoming sequel, saying:

Yoda came back in the last movie, so why not Carrie? 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.

While there are tons of opinions about how Star Wars should handle Carrie Fisher's passing, Todd seems to believe his sister, and therefore Leia, should have a role in Episode IX. While fans would love to see Leia on the silver screen, the question is: how could they do it?

Todd Fisher's comments to Variety also reveal that the family hasn't been informed of the franchise's decision for the character. Both Todd Fisher and Carrie's daughter Billie Lourd will no doubt be privy to the plans, so Fisher's bro is simply spitballing and hoping that his sister's iconic role has one more outing in the galaxy.

If J.J. Abrams wanted to have General Leia Organa on screen in Episode IX, there has luckily been some precedent. A younger version of Carrie Fisher was recently created through CGI in Rogue One, as was the late Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin. The Star Wars franchise is making history with its technical prowess, and the same technology could presumably be used to bring Carrie Fisiher's likeness back to the silver screen for a final bow.

Of course, this would also take a ton of money, and some fans might take umbrage with the concept. That, along with script revisions, have created quite a complicated situation for Lucasfilm and Disney to navigate through. But with Solo: A Star Wars Story having hit theaters, the pressure is on for J.J. Abrams to get to work and deliver a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy he began.

Luckily, there is well over a year until Episode IX arrives, so there is plenty of time to properly plan the highly anticipated sequel, as well as to decide how to handle the role of General Leia in the wake of Carrie Fisher's passing.

Episode IX will arrive in theaters on December 20th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.