Carrie Fisher will make her final bow as General Leia Organa in the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy revealed the news during an interview with ABC while at the ongoing Star Wars Celebration Orlando. The cherished actress and wit-smith passed away at the age of 60 last December, leaving questions about what role her iconic Star Wars character would play in the final film of the franchise. The studio was quick to shut down rumors that they would digitally resurrect the character a la Peter Cushing‘s Tarkin, but the matter of previously filmed footage was less decisive.
Now Kennedy has cleared up the matter handily, confirming point blank that Fisher will not appear in Episode IX. “Sadly, Carrie will not be in nine,” Kennedy said. “But we will see a lot of Carrie in eight.” The news comes as a bit of a surprise to many after a few comments made by Fisher’s brother, Previously, Todd Fisher told the New York Daily News that he Billie Lourd (Fisher’s daughter) gave Disney and Lucasfilm permission to use recent footage of the actress to bring her character’s arc to a close in Episode 9. “Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is, you don’t,” he said at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Los Angeles.
But it seems there was a bit of confusion as to what the rights are being used for as Kennedy states definitively that they are wrapping Leia’s part in the story in The Last Jedi, where Fisher will have a major role to play. “We finished everything in 8, and Carrie is absolutely phenomenal in the movie,” Kennedy said. “Unfortunately, Carrie passed away. So by the time we were well underway with episode 9 in our thoughts, we had not written the script yet, but regrouped and we started over in January.”