Unused Carrie Fisher Footage Will Appear in ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’
It’s been a few months since the world lost Carrie Fisher, and while many would prefer to expand the conversation to her accomplishments outside of the Star Wars universe, plenty of people are anxiously wondering how her death might affect her character in the upcoming Star Wars sequels. For some, this can be viewed as a tacky approach to celebrity, but there’s a sweeter side to things as well. Leia Organa remains an icon for people around the world; finding an appropriate way to say goodbye to her character will be, in essence, the way many Star Wars fans say goodbye to Fisher herself.
So far, the only updates to come from Disney on the Fisher estate’s involvement in the Star Wars sequels are that she had finished her work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi and, thankfully, that the studio would not try to digitally recreate her likeness for future movies. That doesn’t mean Fisher won’t appear in Episode IX and beyond, however. In an interview with the New York Daily News (via Heroic Hollywood), Fisher’s brother Todd admitted that he and Fisher’s daughter had signed over the rights to additional footage for upcoming movies:
Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don’t. She’s as much a part of it as anything and I think her presence now is even more powerful than it was, like Obi Wan — when the saber cuts him down he becomes more powerful. I feel like that’s what’s happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue.
If done with respect, Lucasfilm and Disney have every reason in the world to bring General Organa back for a final hurrah. Star Wars: The Force Awakens set her character up to play a major role in the events of the Star Wars sequels; to remove her entirely would undermine the good work that she had already done, and deny fans a chance to say goodbye. That being said, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has shown the full breadth of Lucasfilm’s capabilities when it comes to bringing back deceased actors, from good — unused footage of X-Wing pilots from the original Star Wars film — to bad.
Nobody wants another Peter Cushing situation, and as long as the studio makes it clear that they’ll creatively edit around unused footage to create a fitting farewell, there’s nothing here that should offend or disappoint fans of Fisher. Fingers crossed that the studio makes good on its promise not to digitally recreate the late actress on screen; something tells me she would’ve had something acerbic to say about that decision.