While little is known about about director Colin Trevorrow’s “Star Wars: Episode IX,” it has been confirmed by the late Carrie Fisher’s brother, Todd Fisher, that Leia will appear in the finale of the epic sequel trilogy. Todd told the New York Daily News that he and Carrie’s daughter, Billie Lourd, have granted permission to Disney and Lucasfilm to use “recent footage” of the actress in the final film slated to hit theaters in 2019.
Although Todd was unable to speculate about Leia’s storyline in the finale, he said, “She’s as much a part of it as anything and I think her presence now is even more powerful than it was, like Obi-Wan — when the saber cuts him down, he becomes more powerful. I feel like that’s what’s happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue.” He added, “You don’t mess with this legacy.” That said, we do know a little bit of the original plan. There were reports that said the original storyline of ‘Episode IX’ would feature a showdown between Leia and her son Kylo Ren. Unlike ‘The Force Awakens,’ Fisher’s part in the movie was supposed to be a “major role.” So, use all the old footage you want, but we presume that story beat would be hard to pull off. When Trevorrow, Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy and the “Star Wars” story group regrouped after her death, presumably it was to determine how to rethink the story without the character.
Despite online rumors speculating that CGI would be used to complete Leia’s storyline — fueled especially by her digitally rendered spectral cameo in 2016’s ‘Rogue One’ — it is currently “understood,” according to Disney and Lucasfilm, that there are no plans to digitally recreate General Organa for the future films.
Production on ‘Episode IX’ set to begin July 2017 in London, with a tentative release date of May 24, 2019, which would be the 42nd anniversary, almost to the day, of “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope,” which hit theaters on May 25, 1977.