carrie fisher in episode 9

The tragic and unexpected death of Carrie Fisher had many wondering about the future of the Star Wars movies, notably Star Wars Episode 9, the film after Fisher’s last appearance in Star Wars Episode: The Last Jedi, and in which her character General Leia was intended to return.

The loss of Fisher weighs heavily on Episode 9 director Colin Trevorrow, who opened up on how the Star Wars sequel is moving on without her, and how they will pay respects to the princess, who became a general, who became a legend.

Trevorrow recently spoke with CinemaBlend on how Fisher’s enormous absence will be addressed in Episode 9, saying, “She was a major character, that’s not a secret. She really was.”

Trevorrow was responding to Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy’s Vanity Fair comments about what Leia’s role would have been in Episode 9 had tragedy not struck. Though Leia steps into a larger role in The Last Jedi, it would be the next movie where she would have gotten her time to shine. Kennedy said:

“The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ Because Harrison was front and center on VII, and Mark is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been.”

Barring CGI reconstruction of Fisher in Episode 9 similar to how Rogue One brought back Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin — which Lucasfilm has denied would happen — Leia’s starring role would inevitably change. While Trevorrow wouldn’t confirm to Cinemablend whether the script had been changed in light of Fisher’s passing, Kennedy had said previously that much of the script for Episode 9 had to be thrown out.

Trevorrow told CinemaBlend that he and the crew behind Episode 9 are working hard to turn the film into a respectful send-off of Fisher as well as a great film in its own right:

“I feel like our options are limited mostly by ourselves, in that there is only certain things that we are willing to do. But I can guarantee it will be handled with love and respect, and all of the soul that Carrie Fisher deserves.”

The still-untitled Star Wars Episode 9 hits theaters May 24, 2019.

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