The Star Wars universe was dealt a crippling blow late last year, when Carrie Fisher suddenly passed away at 60, days after suffering from a heart attack on an international flight from London to Los Angeles. In the wake of her passing, it was confirmed that Carrie Fisher had finished shooting the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi. But with reshoots reportedly happening this month, some wondered if there would be any changes to the story in regards to Leia's role. While speaking at Scale: The Future of Tech and Entertainment conference, held at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, California, Disney CEO Bob Iger made it clear that Star Wars: The Last Jedi will not be altered because of the actress' passing. Here's what the Disney CEO had to say below.
"When we bought Lucasfilm, we were going to make three films, Episodes VII, VIII and IX. We had to deal tragedy at the end of 2016. Carrie appears throughout VIII. We are not changing VIII to deal with her passing. Her performance remains as it is in VIII. In Rogue One, we had some digital character. We are not doing that with Carrie."
The Hollywood Reporter was present at this conference, with his statement falling in line with Disney's stance on this issue, which they announced a few months ago. There was a report a few months ago that Disney was negotiating with Carrie Fisher's estate for the rights to use her digital likeness as Leia Organa in future Star Wars movies. However, LucasFilm, which normally never responds to press reports, issued a rare statement to deny any sort of digital recreation of Carrie Fisher in Star Wars 9. Fans already got a glimpse of this technology in action, when it was used to recreate a 19-year-old Princess Leia, and the late Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One, but it seems it won't be used in the future for Leia.
After Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes out, Disney will release the new spin-off Han Solo: A Star Wars Story on May 25, 2018, with the highly-anticipated Star Wars: Episode IX coming in 2019. After Carrie Fisher's death, reports surfaced that the actress still had two major scenes to shoot, which had been long in the works, which would either be featured in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, or Star Wars 9. One of these scenes was Leia's reunion with her brother Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and another where she confronts her evil son Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Those details were never confirmed by Disney or LucasFilm, but Bob Iger also revealed that they are now starting to discuss the future of the Star Wars franchise, after Star Wars 9. Here's what he had to say, teasing another long-term plan for the franchise.
"We're starting talk about what could happen after Episode IX. About what could be another decade-and-a-half of Star Wars stories."
Back in November, LucasFilm president Kathleen Kenned hinted that, after Star Wars 9, all of the future Star Wars movies will be stand alone spin-offs, but they are still having those discussions and nothing is set in stone quite yet. While the Luke Skywalker saga will most likely come to a close with Star Wars 9. it's also entirely possible that another trilogy could then go into development, following the new trio of heroes, Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). We still have a long way to go before those decisions are made, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Han Solo: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars 9 and a rumored Star Wars spin-off focusing on Boba Fett in various stages of development.