Yesterday, Star Wars fans across the world suffered a tremendous loss as Carrie Fisher unexpectedly passed away. It was a tragic moment and one that left people wondering how the sci-fi franchise would proceed without her. After the actress’ role in J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens, she was all set to return for Star Wars: Episode VIII. From what we’ve heard, nothing’s changed on that front, as Fisher had completed all of her scenes before she died, but where will Lucasfilm go next now that she’s no longer with us?
Deadline’s reporting that Fisher has a pretty large role in Episode VIII and was also supposed to be in Star Wars: Episode IX. Since that’s now no longer possible, we imagine the studio may have to go back and tweak Leia’s arc a bit so that it comes to a fitting close in the upcoming film. How Lucasfilm will deal with this devastating blow is anyone’s guess, and as of now, they haven’t given us any indication of what their plan is.
As for what Leia’s exact role will be in the film, it’s hard to say since we still know so little about it, but given the events that occurred in The Force Awakens, it makes sense that she’d have a bigger part to play here. After all, now that Abrams’ film has laid the groundwork for the new trilogy, it’s assumed that Rian Johnson is really going to kick the story into high gear, and it seems like he had big plans for Princess Leia. Hopefully, then, the studio will find a way to deal with all this and give the character the send-off she deserves.
This isn’t the first time a major star has unexpectedly died prior to their film releasing, as the same thing happened with Paul Walker back when he was making Furious 7. In that case, they changed his character’s role in the film quite substantially and even brought in the actor’s brother to help them shoot a few extra scenes.
Obviously, something like that would be much tougher to do for Fisher, but just because someone’s dead it doesn’t mean they can’t appear on screen, as Lucasfilm and Disney proved with Rogue One. Again though, nothing has been revealed in terms of how they plan to move forward and until we hear more, we’ll remain hopeful that Leia’s arc comes to a satisfying conclusion in Star Wars: Episode VIII.