Key personalities will be meeting next week in Los Angeles to discuss the future of Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise. Lucas film’s Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Trevorrow, who is scripting and directing Episode IX, have some very serious decisions to make. The recent death of Carrie Fisher, the actress who played Leia, left some gaping holes in the storylines as they currently stand–holes that will have to be filled.
Fisher completed filming for the next Star Wars movie, Episode VIII, before her passing. However, Princess Leia had already been written into the installments that follow this year’s release. In fact, The Hollywood Reporter has claimed that inside sources told them:
…at least two key scenes are planned for Episode VIII (Dec. 15) and Episode IX (2019): a Leia reunion with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and a confrontation with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), her son who killed Harrison Ford’s Han Solo in 2015’s The Force Awakens.
Given that Episode IX will probably not begin shooting before 2018, there is time to consider options for handling the incredibly delicate matter. It seems, though, that no time is being wasted in addressing the dilemma. There are two ideas that are likely being examined as viable solutions: the elimination of her character altogether and the use of CGI as a form of life support.
It is possible for Leia to be written out of scripts to eliminate a need for her character in the films. It sounds extreme, but it wouldn’t be the first time something like this has been done in the history of Star Wars. As a recent example, Rogue One, had some pretty major changes made to its script due to J.J. Abrams execution of Force Awakens in postproduction.
CGI is also an option if Leia’s presence in the films is drastically reduced. In an unfortunate turn of irony, Lucasfilm just celebrated a technological victory in digitally resurrecting Peter Cushing for a role in Episode VII. They were also able to reclaim Fisher’s youth for a cameo in the movie’s final scene. With this in mind, it is possible that this recent achievement could be the very thing that keeps Leia alive throughout the rest of the Star Wars narrative.
I suppose time will tell what the Star Wars “summit” produces in terms of a solution. Meanwhile, we will continue to mourn the loss of the strong spirit that embodied Princess Leia for almost 40 years.