Spoiler Alert: This item avoids discussing major plot twists in any of the Star Wars movies, but wait to read it if you want to stay totally in the dark about “Rogue One,” “The Force Awakens” or Episode VIII or IX.
Don’t expect Carrie Fisher to make a virtual appearance as General Leia Organa in the yet-to-be-filmed installments of the Star Wars saga.
That’s the word from Lucasfilm, which issued this statement today via its Star Wars website:
“We don’t normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumor circulating that we would like to address. We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa.
“Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to Star Wars.”
Fisher’s scenes for Star Wars’ Episode VIII were shot before she died suddenly last month, so that’s not the issue. The main question has to do with Episode IX, which has not begun production but is due for release in 2019.
Last week, we talked in theoretical terms about the possibility of a computer-generated Carrie Fisher performance in Episode IX or other Star Wars spin-offs, along the lines of the virtual Peter Cushing (or, for that matter, a young Fisher as Princess Leia) in “Rogue One.”
Less theoretical speculation has popped up since then, based on reports from The Hollywood Reporter and “BBC Newsnight” via ComicBookMovie.com. Those reports suggested that Leia was due to appear in some crucial scenes in Episode IX. (Check out the links for spoiler-y specifics.)
The BBC was quoted as saying that Disney, which owns Lucasfilm as a subsidiary, was “negotiating with the actor’s estate over her continued appearance in the franchise,” and that Fisher would “join Peter Cushing” if Disney gets the go-ahead.
Today’s statement makes clear that creating a CGI Carrie Fisher isn’t in the cards, but there are other avenues available for Episode IX, such as rewriting the script to remove Leia’s screen time, or having another actress take on the role.
Let’s just hope they don’t do what infamous filmmaker Ed Wood did for “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” which many have dubbed the worst movie ever made. The star of the B-movie, Bela Lugosi, died during filming – and to fill in the gaps, Wood enlisted his wife’s chiropractor to play Lugosi’s role … while holding a cape over his face the entire time.
Tip o’ the Hat to Variety.