Mark Hamill Says You Can’t Recast Leia For Star Wars: Episode IX


How will J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Chris Terrio (Justice League) handle Leia’s inevitable exit in Star Wars: Episode IX?

Last seen in the company of Rey and the remnants of the Resistance, we know that a CGI Carrie Fisher is effectively off the table entirely, but thanks to The Last Jedi‘s official novelization, there’s reason to believe that Leia Organa will succumb to solar radiation and hypoxia – that is, an oxygen deficiency in the muscles – come 2019, symptoms one would associate with an unscheduled spacewalk.

That remains unconfirmed for now, though, as Lucasfilm has yet to announce how exactly they plan to deal with the character’s arc. One idea that’s been thrown around though – at least amongst a certain portion of the fanbase – is simply recasting. In fact, a petition for Meryl Streep to take the role has sprung up recently. And though she’s certainly a talented actress, we can’t see the studio heading down this route.

Simply put, Carrie Fisher is Princess Leia and no one can replace here. That’s a sentiment that Mark Hamill echoes, too. While speaking with Collider during a recent interview, the franchise stalwart touched on the situation, saying:

“Well first of all, I don’t know what the specific plans for [her] were. But we assume that Leia would’ve been more prominent in Episode IX. I think it’d be tough recasting though, because [Carrie] is so indelibly linked with that character. She’s irreplaceable as far as I’m concerned.”

He’s absolutely right, and whatever Lucasfilm ends up doing, Fisher’s untimely death means that Leia’s days in the Skywalker Saga are clearly numbered. She’ll likely influence the story of the film indirectly, but until production begins in the summer, treat any and all rumors with a heightened sense of caution.

If one thing’s for certain, it’s that she’ll definitely be missed, as will Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker – even if all signs point to a possible, ghost-like return in Star Wars: Episode IX.