Star Wars: The Last Jedi Will Not Kill Off Leia

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Carrie Fisher’s tragic passing last year left Star Wars fans around the world heartbroken, and ever since, one of the biggest questions has been how will Lucasfilm handle the actress’ untimely death moving forward? We know that she’s set to feature in The Last Jedi, and holds a fairly large role in it, from what we hear, but what comes after that?

Leia Organa – once a Princess, now a General – is a legend of cinema, and an icon of Star Wars lore. She’s a talisman held closely by generations of fans and she’s one of the core team members from the very beginning of George Lucas’ Star Wars adventure, four decades ago. The prequels – 1999’s The Phantom Menace, 2002’s Attack Of The Clones and 2005’s Revenge Of The Sith – struggled greatly without her, and there was an almost tangible relief within the fandom when the closing act of that third movie featured the birth of the infant Leia. A computer enhanced, teen version of the character was also included at the end of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and proved to be one of the most thrilling cameo appearances.

But, General Leia arrived and took charge of the situation in Star Wars: The Force Awakens – revealing her personal, familial woes in the process – and we were suddenly assured that this beloved leader of the resistance would not only play a more significant role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but that the chapter due to follow it – Colin Trevorrow’s Star Wars: Episode IX – would be essentially centred on her. Now, instead, we’re faced with the prospect of heading into The Last Jedi with the knowledge that we’ll be saying goodbye to the beloved character.

With the decision being made not to digitally recreate her for Episode IX, we shouldn’t expect to see the princess in Trevorrow’s trilogy closer, but will the studio kill her off, or simply write her out? At the moment, we can’t say for sure, but if John Boyega is to be believed, it seems like it’ll be the latter.

Speaking with Peter Travers to promote his new film Detroit, the actor had the following to say about how The Last Jedi deals with Fisher’s death:

“This movie, it sends her off in a very amazing, amazing way. She’s still kept alive in this franchise. You know, that’s the beauty of it,” Boyega explained, “she lives forever in a sense.”

This follows on from earlier statements that Trevorrow’s made in which he said that the actress’ passing would be treated “with love and respect” in Episode IX, which we don’t doubt. It’s clear that the director understands how much Fisher meant to her millions of fans around the world and that him, Johnson, Lucasfilm and everyone else involved will do their best to make sure her arc is wrapped up in a respectful and meaningful fashion.

Again, how they intend on doing that is still unknown, but the idea of leaving Star Wars: The Last Jedi feeling emotionally satisfied about the fate of General Leia Organa is of immense comfort – not least because we know that Star Wars: Episode IX was altered at the writing stage to account for her unexpected loss. We still have time to steel ourselves for those final scenes, too, as the next chapter of the saga won’t be with us until December 15th, at which point it’ll also deliver a fitting tribute to the actress during the end credits.

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