Colin Trevorrow's Star Wars 9 is set to officially begin shooting in January of 2018, and the director promises that the final installment in the sequel trilogy will honor and pay respect to the late Carrie Fisher. Fisher, who returned to the role of Princess Leia for The Force Awakens in 2015 passed away from a heart attack in December of 2016 after filming all of her scenes for The Last Jedi. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Trevorrow have said that Fisher was going to have a large role to play in Star Wars 9.

The recently released Vanity Fair article shed some light on Carrie Fisher's involvement in Star Wars 9. It is well known that Luke Skywalker was barely in The Force Awakens and that he will have a larger part in The Last Jedi. The Force Awakens was more of Han Solo's movie and apparently it was assumed, even by Fisher, that Star Wars 9 would be Leia's movie. As it turns out, she was correct.

Colin Trevorrow spoke with the Irish Examiner (via Star Wars News Net) about Carrie Fisher's death and how it impacted the production of Star Wars 9 while confirming that Leia was supposed to have a larger role. He says.

"She had a major role in the film and it's something we had to deal with emotionally first. Now we've had to deal with it in very practical ways and in a form of storytelling we know is going to honor her and keep her soul alive, but it is an unfortunate reality that we're going to have to handle."

Trevorrow went on to reiterate just how hard Carrie Fisher's death was on the whole cast and crew, while revealing that he and Lucasfilm are still trying to figure out where to go next. Trevorrow explains.

"It's been tough emotionally, and logistically we'll figure that part out, but she was just very important to the Star Wars family and that was the hardest part."

Fans worried about Star Wars 9 taking inspiration from Rogue One and using CGI have nothing to worry about. Kennedy and Trevorrow have both said that Fisher will not be recreated digitally through the use of CGI technology like Rogue One did with Leia and General Moff Tarkin. The use of CGI in Rogue One was tastefully done, but it does not seem like a good solution for Star Wars 9 and in a way might come off disrespectful to Carrie Fisher's memory.

Related: Will Rise of Skywalker Follow Canon and Use an Endgame Plot Device?

Lucasfilm will undoubtedly make a heartfelt and tasteful tribute to Carrie Fisher within Star Wars 9. The only question is how will they pull it off from a storytelling point of view? Star Trek Beyond recently went through a similar ordeal with the death of Leonard Nimoy. The passing of Spock was written into the story in a loving way that didn't seem intrusive at all. How Trevorrow and Lucasfilm move on will have to be decided rather quickly as production is set to begin in January, regardless of what they decide to do, Fisher's spirit is in good hands.

Kevin Burwick