Star Wars: Episode IX Was Going To Be Carrie Fisher’s Movie, Says Kathleen Kennedy


Vanity Fair’s excellent Star Wars: The Last Jedi cover story has delivered a ton of new information about the film, but one of the more poignant bits is the revelation that Episode IX was set to feature Carrie Fisher in a central role, similar to how crucial Harrison Ford’s Han Solo was to The Force Awakens. Kathleen Kennedy explains that the moment they finished shooting The Last Jedi, Fisher grabbed her and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ “She thought IX would be her movie, says Kennedy. “And it would have been.”

Judging from this piece, Fishers untimely death cast a pallor over the production, with Lucasfilm in a quandary about how best to proceed. At one point, they considered attempting to resurrect her through CGI (having just done so in Rogue One), but announced they’d decided against it on grounds of taste rather than technology. Obviously, we don’t know how The Last Jedi will end, but it’s rumoured that General Leia will suffer an accident leaving her at death’s door. Presumably, she’ll now not survive.

Elsewhere in the Vanity Fair piece, the cast also shared their memories of working with the actress. Daisy Ridley explains that she told her “never to shrink away,” while John Boyega, upon being shaken by online racism following his casting, said that she said to him, “Ah boohoo, who fuckin’ cares? You just do you,” which gave him strength. Oscar Isaac, meanwhile, recalls a scene where she had to slap him: “I think we did 27 takes in all, and Carrie leaned into it every time, man. She loved hitting me. Rian found such a wonderful way of working with her, and I think she really relished it.”

Rian Johnson got the last word though, saying the following:

“Out of everyone, Carrie was the one I really became friends with and expected to have in my life for years and years. I last saw her in November, at the birthday party that she threw at her house. In a way, it was the perfect final, encapsulating image of Carrie—receiving all her friends in the bedroom, with Debbie holding court in the living room.”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is set to be released later this year, on December 15th, with Episode IX to follow on May 24th, 2019.