How Lucasfilm and Disney May Handle Princess Leia in Star Wars Episodes 8 and 9

UPDATE: Lucasfilm and Disney have confirmed that Carrie Fisher will not be digitally recreated for Star Wars Episode VIII and IX.

The passing of Carrie Fisher rocked the Star Wars universe to the core. I mean after all her Princess Leia helped to start it all way back in 1977, so it’s no surprise that the actress’s death has hit many Star Wars fans right in the gut.

Due to her passing Lucasfilm and Disney must now figure out how to handle her General Leia character in Episodes VIII and IX. I went ahead and pulled some ideas out of my sarlacc pit that may be employed to bring a proper end to one of the most iconic Star Wars characters around. These methods are ways that I believe the creative teams could employ in combination with one another, or just one end all be all solution, to make sure Leia’s narrative thread does’t get shortchanged, or the entire narratives of VIII and IX altogether.

Check out the video to see what these methods are and how they can affect the narratives of Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX. The script is embedded below if you prefer to do some reading.

Stay tuned for a second part to this video series that will take a look at key moments in Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX that may be cut or heavily edited now that Fisher has become one with the Force. It should be out early next week.

Video Script

Hey now Star Wars fans, Matt Heywood here to provide a somber video about that galaxy that we all love and that is so far, far away. The reason for the somber tone is because this video will analyze how Lucasfilm and Disney will handle the death of Carrie Fisher in Star Wars Episodes 8 and 9.

Carrie Fisher’s death a few days after Christmas rocked Star Wars Nation to the core, she was only 60, and a week earlier was doing what she does best, being snarky and witty as all hell, while promoting her latest book in London. Her death was unexpected to say the least, and her mark left on geeks and Star Wars fans is undeniable.

Unfortunately, due to her passing Lucasfilm and Disney must now account for her loss in Star Wars Episodes 8 and 9, because she was set to star in both and have an impact on their narratives. In fact, she already completed her scenes for 8, and The Hollywood Reporter has cited that her role in 9 was supposed to be her largest in the new trilogy, so obviously the story group has their work cut out for them to account for Fisher’s untimely death.

It was reported on January 5th that the Star Wars story group along with the writers and directors of Episodes 8 and 9 will meet in LA to decide Leia’s fate. It’s this meeting that spawned the idea for this video, because while my Star Wars podcast co-host and I briefly talked about how Leia’s death may change the narratives of Episodes 8 and 9, we didn’t spend nearly enough time to dive into all of the possibilities.

In the first part of this video series I’d like to highlight four potential methods for incorporating Princess Leia in Episode 9, as well as possibly fleshing out her role in Episode 8. Mind you these are all speculations from yours truly, and while I have a direct connection to the Force, these are all directly from my bunghole, so take them with a grain of salt. Also, Spoiler alert just in case I do cook something up that actually comes to fruition, and for the rumored two Leia scenes that were supposed to take place in 8 and 9.

The first method is probably the most unlikely, and that would be to write out General Leia completely in Episodes 8 and 9. Considering that Fisher has already been filmed for 8 I don’t think they’ll throw that all away and explain her absence in a bit of dialogue, but they could for Episode 9. I don’t think they will because you can’t just brush aside General freaking Leia and not give her the proper send off, but we shouldn’t be surprised if something like this happens. Rewrites will take place regardless to account for Fisher’s death, it just depends on how severe they may be.

The second method is to create new shots with General Leia using CGI like they did in Rogue One. If used sparingly this method could give General Leia a proper send off in Episode 9, or possibly if used sparingly in Episode 8 to alter her fate if she was supposed to live through that film. If the story group does want her in full for Episode 9 there is no other method, but due to cost and potential estate issues, I don’t see her being a full CGI character for an entire movie, so this method is unlikely in that capacity, but could be used in conjunction with others to stitch together a proper send off.

The third method is similar to the previous one in that Lucasfilm could heavily use the Star Wars hologram effect in 8 or 9 to bring General Leia back to life with a bit of CGI wizardry. This may be a more ideal solution that the last one too, because costs could be reduced due to not needing the CGI Leia to look human perfect. It could also be used to possibly send her off in style in Episode 8. I don’t believe this would be an end all be all method, but like the previous if combined with other techniques it could allow Leia’s story to play out in full, or at least give her a proper send off.

This same approach could be used if they went with a Force Ghost Leia, but considering that she isn’t properly trained in the ways of the Force, this may be a bit far fetched. Although, Anakin figured it out without being taught, so I guess anything goes in the movies.

The fourth method may be the most likely, or again used in conjunction with other methods, and that is to find cut General Leia scenes from Episode 8, or hell 7 for that matter and repurpose them in 8 and/or 9. This is the most authentic approach as it would use Carrie Fisher in the flesh, but it would be a miracle if enough deleted footage could be reused to properly close out Leia’s thread in the new trilogy.

So those are four methods that Lucasfilm and Disney could employ to give General Leia the send off she deserves in either Star Wars Episodes 8 and 9. I honestly think Lucasfilm and Disney will take advantage of a mix of them to properly address Fisher’s death in the Star Wars universe, but it’s ultimately a mystery until the final films get released. Here’s to hoping General Leia’s plot threads are edited perfectly to bring a noble and honorable end to one of the world’s most iconic movie heroines and characters in general.

Please stay tuned for a follow up video to this one that will analyze potential General Leia fanboy moments that will change or go away now that the Star Wars story group has to account for Carrie Fisher’s early passing.

Thanks for watching, and don’t forget to keep your browsers tuned to on a daily basis, because it will make you a better geek, one post at a time.

May the Force be with you, always…


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Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.