After the sudden and tragic passing of Carrie Fisher the question of how the Star Wars franchise would react, rose. Almost immediately (morbidly), there was speculation that LucasFlim/Disney would “resurrect” General Leia digitally as they had done with Peter Cushing/Grand Moff Tarkin for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. After all, they did use the actresses likeness for a younger Princess Leia cameo in the same movie, but that was with the help and blessing of a living Carrie Fisher.
Speculation gave way to rumor recently after the BBC stated that the studio was reportedly in talks with Carrie Fishers’ estate to use her image in future films. Whether in reaction to the response the report garnered or in lines with pre-existing plans, LucasFilm broke silence and released the following statement on StarWars.com:
We don’t normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumor circulating that we would like to address. We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa.
Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to Star Wars.
While this is a definitive answer on the use of a CGI doppelganger, the question still remains on how the Star Wars universe will address the passing. Carrie Fisher’s
Princess General Leia was/is a central character in the original trilogy and was clearly set to play a major role in the new films. With CGI officially (thankfully) off the table the question remains on how to address the 800lbs wookie in the room. How do you tastefully and respectfully mark the passing of such a huge part of the franchise, not only for the character but for the actress herself?
Fisher had completed work on Star Wars: Episode VIII prior to her passing, in theaters December 15, 2017.