With the big Star Wars - Episode IX casting and start date news released yesterday we are starting to get a clearer picture of what J.J. Abrams has in store for us come December of next year. Of the many big reveals (Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Willaims) none was bigger than the fact that Carrie Fisher would appear in the final episode posthumously using unused footage from Episode VII - The Force Awakens. Fisher of course passed away once photography was completed on Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi.
In the press release, J.J. Abrams had this to say about Carrie's legacy on screen...
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” says Abrams. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
Since Fisher's death there have been conflicting reports about what part, if any, her character General Organa would play in Episode IX. From the get go Abrams and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy have said they would not be using CGI to recreate her in the same way Rogue One back in 2016. This time they have made it clear that the company would be merely taking unused footage that Fisher shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and repurposing it for the new film.
Someone who has been very vocal in the past about Carrie's likeness and her role in the films, as it turns out, was right all along. In interviews last year Todd Fisher would speak openly about the studio using discarded footage to keep his sister's spirit alive and well. And now today, after the big announcement from Lucasfilm, he had this to say...
"As we, her family, as well as her extended family of fans around the world so believe, Carrie’s ‘Princess Leia is forever entrenched in the franchise and her indelible presence is fundamental to the film. J.J. Abrams understood Carrie’s iconic role, and he has masterfully re-crafted this final entry to include this unused and very last footage of Carrie ever taken, without resorting to CGI or animatronics. Our family and her fans will look forward with great anticipation for this one! Her force will forever be with us!"
So, all is well in the Fisher camp and all we can do now is take the wait and see approach. We don't know what context any footage they have will be used but rest assured, whatever they come up with will be emotional to say the least.
Till next time...MTFBWY.
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