Star Wars fans rejoice. Todd Fisher, the brother of Carrie Fisher, has announced that his departed sister will return as General Leia in Star Wars 9. Fisher had already filmed her scenes for this year's December 15th release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. There had been no update from Disney or Lucasfilm regarding her status for the final film in the new trilogy until now, except that they wouldn't be using CGI.
The bombshell announcement was made by Todd Fisher to media sources at the New York Daily News during the opening night gala of the TCM Film Festival in Los Angeles. It seems that Billie Lourd, Carrie Fisher's daughter, and her uncle have granted Disney execs permission to use Fisher's image for the last film. Remarks Todd Fisher at the event.
"Both of us were like, 'Yes, how do you take her out of it?' And the answer is you don't. She's as much a part of it as anything and I think her presence now is even more powerful than it was, like Obi Wan, when the saber cuts him down he becomes more powerful. I feel like that's what's happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue."
Even more stunning is that CGI will not be used to recreate Princess Leia. Todd Fisher states that previously shot footage of the actress will be used instead. Princess Leia most likely has an integral role in the Last Jedi. Her part could certainly be pared down or addressed in a different way to minimize screen time for Star Wars Episode IX. Anyone who's seen the CGI version of Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One knows the studio's capabilities. They can bring back deceased actors near flawlessly.
It's definitely a nod to Carrie Fisher's family and tremendous Star Wars fan base to use only original footage. Todd Fisher continued, saying this.
"I'm not the only part in that equation, but I think the people deserve to have her. She's owned by them. You don't mess with this legacy. It would be like rewriting the Bible. To me, Star Wars is the holy grail of storytelling and lore and you can't mess with it."
Tragically, Carrie Fisher's mother, Debbie Reynolds, also passed away from grief the day after her daughter's untimely death on December 27, 2016. Fisher and his niece were overcome by the support of fans. He also plans to do a project about his late sister and mother.
"Carrie and I grew up with a magical life, we really did, and there are a lot of stories to tell. Carrie and I actually wrote some things together. It's very likely that I'll get to those now sooner than I would have normally, because we didn't think the stories were going to end. Now that they've ended, the stories probably should be told. So there's some magic left in us and there are a lot of Carrie's words left unspoken that will be spoken."
I couldn't be happier to see Carrie Fisher play out Princess Leia's on screen. It would not have been Star Wars without her. Her family certainly appreciated that and did the right thing allowing Disney to use her image. It's also fantastic that the character will not be a gaudy, CGI image. Todd Fisher has also stated that he has faith the studio will "do great things." Force shattering news indeed. Star Wars Episode IX is directed by Colin Trevorrow and slated to film in July 2017. The theatrical release will be on May 23, 2019. MovieWeb will of course have every story on Carrie Fisher's inclusion in the last film of the trilogy.