Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker – three characters who would go on to inspire a generation, and to commemorate their Star Wars legacy, it’s understood Disney initially mapped out plans for Han Solo to feature prominently in The Force Awakens, with The Last Jedi to place a particular emphasis on Luke.
So far, so familiar. And while the untitled Star Wars: Episode IX originally featured a prominent role for Leia Organa, the Powers That Be were forced to overhaul her arc after the tragic death of Carrie Fisher late last year. Word is that rewrite has led to a suitably fitting finale for Fisher’s Resistance Leader in The Last Jedi, but those holding out for an end-game appearance in Episode IX needn’t get their hopes up, as Lucasfilm has no plans to resurrect General Leia Organa via CGI.
But as Mark Hamill tells New York Times, the studio once earmarked Leia for a “more prominent” role in Star Wars: Episode IX, similar to how The Last Jedi belongs to his wayward Luke Skywalker.
Other than the fact that J.J. Abrams is directing from a script penned by Chris Terrio (Justice League), there are precious few details currently available for the untitled Star Wars: Episode IX, but had things panned out differently, and Carrie Fisher was still with us, we would have seen Leia take center stage as the war between the First Order and the Resistance begins to reach its explosive climax.
She deserved that second act. Harrison was more prominent in VII, I’m more prominent in this one, and she was meant to be more prominent in the last one. Her timing was perfect, except in this case.
The Star Wars saga continues with The Last Jedi on December 15th of this year. Also cramming up the pipeline are Ron Howard’s spinoff, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Episode IX, which have been slated for May 25th, 2018 and December 20th, 2019, respectively.