'Star Wars: Episode 9' Will Also Utilize Unused 'Last Jedi' Footage Of Carrie Fisher

When the Star Wars: Episode 9 cast was announced, the line-up included a big surprise: Carrie Fisher. Fisher died before the release of The Last Jedi, and many assumed her character, Leia Organa, wouldn't be featured in the next film. According to the Episode 9 cast announcement, director J.J. Abrams plans to utilize unused Force Awakens footage of Fisher. Now, Fisher's brother is claiming the film will also employ additional, unused Last Jedi footage as well.

In case you somehow missed it, here's the official word from LucasFilm regarding the unused Carrie Fisher footage:

The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. "We desperately loved Carrie Fisher," says Abrams. "Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie's legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII."

As you can see above, only The Force Awakens is mentioned. But Awakens might not be the only film utilized when it comes to Episode 9. During an episode of Star Wars News Net's The Resistance Broadcast, ABC News' Clayton Sandell revealed that he had spoken recently with Fisher's brother, Todd Fisher, about all of this. Per Sandell, Fisher confirmed that Abrams and company would be using unused Last Jedi footage as well:

"I talked to Todd Fisher today about all of this and he has been talking with J. J. Abrams about it. I asked him, because the press release only said The Force Awakens so I asked about The Last Jedi, and they are also using unused footage from The Last Jedi. I asked him how many minutes of footage they had from it and he said 'I can't tell you that!'"

It's worth noting that this isn't 100% confirmed. While Star Wars News Net has a good track record on this sort of thing, the source isn't someone directly associated with the production – it's Fisher's brother. There's always a chance Mr. Fisher might be misspeaking, but there's also a chance he's right as well.

Mr. Fisher actually stated in April 2017 that Episode 9 would feature unused footage of his sister – a statement that LucasFilm immediately shot down as untrue. A year later, it turned out to be true after all, which makes this whole thing extra murky. Did Fisher know this for a fact in April 2017, or did he make a lucky guess that turned out to be (eventually) correct?

For now, let's just assume this is accurate. If Abrams wants to use as much footage possible to insert Carrie Fisher into Episode 9, it makes sense that he would turn to more than one movie to get the deed done. Still, the question remains: just how much unused footage of Fisher is there? We know of a handful of small scenes cut from Force Awakens, and there's bound to be a few more from Last Jedi – the Blu-ray release contains a wealth of deleted scenes, but none feature Fisher prominently – but the total amount of footage remains a mystery. There's always a chance Abrams could employ B-roll footage – footage shot behind the scenes, before the cameras are rolling – as well.

We'll know the answer to all these questions, and more, when Star Wars: Episode 9 opens on December 20, 2019.