When director Colin Trevorrow begins production on Star Wars Episode IX, he’ll be facing a devastating obstacle: the loss of Carrie Fisher, who died from a heart attack shortly after she finished filming Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (in theaters Dec. 15). In a conversation with Cinemablend about his new film The Book of Henry (in theaters June 16), Trevorrow talked briefly about how he was approaching a Star Wars film without Princess Leia.
“She was a major character, that’s not a secret. She really was,” said the Jurassic World director, confirming what producer Kathleen Kennedy told Vanity Fair about Fisher’s planned role in Episode IX. “And it was extremely sad for all of us, mostly just because she was so loved by the Star Wars family and everyone that worked with her.” (Trevorrow himself did not have the opportunity to meet Fisher before she passed away in December 2016.)
He went on explain, in vague terms, how the new film would deal with her absence. “I feel like our options are limited mostly by ourselves, in that there is only certain things that we are willing to do,” Trevorrow told Cinemablend. “But I can guarantee it will be handled with love and respect, and all of the soul that Carrie Fisher deserves.”
As Cinemablend speculates, it sounds like Trevorrow is denouncing the idea of turning Leia into a CG character (much like Peter Cushing’s resurrected character General Tarkin in Rogue One). Kennedy, too, has been adamant that this won’t happen, telling Vanity Fair “We don’t have any intention of beginning a trend of re-creating actors who are gone.” And while Fisher’s brother Todd has said that Lucasfilm has his permission to use existing footage of Fisher in the new film, Kennedy told Good Morning America that there were no plans to bring her back for Episode IX. In other words, Trevorrow’s film will have to conclude Leia’s storyline without Leia — a conundrum that Lucasfilm’s brain trust is still trying to solve. May the Force be with them.
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