**Spoilers ahead** The conversation continues to swirl around Carrie Fisher and the future of “Star Wars.” It’s becoming clear that the late actress’ return as Princess Leia to the franchise was integral to the new narrative, with reports surfacing recently that she had a “major role” in “Star Wars: Episode 9.” And the extent of her impact on “Star Wars: Episode 8” and beyond is starting to be revealed.
THR reports that Princess Leia has key scenes coming up in both ‘Episode 8’ and ‘Episode 9’: a reunion with Luke Skywalker, and a showdown with Kylo Ren (the trade doesn’t specify in which movies these scenes take place, but it’s probably safe to surmise Leia reunites with her brother in the next film, while the reckoning with her son might be further down the road). But the question, of course, is how those important moments will be changed with Fisher having passed.
Well, next week Colin Trevorrow and Kathleen Kennedy will be meeting to discuss that topic. Certainly, they have plenty of options available, from rewriting the film to utilizing the kind of tech they did in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” to use Princess Leia sparingly in digital form (though, even attempting to do that tastefully may result in blowback, and not everyone cheered the stiff awkwardness of how Grand Moff Tarkin looked). And if they make changes for ‘Episode IX,’ does that mean Rian Johnson will have to possibly reshoot or recut his upcoming ‘Episode VIII’ for narrative flow?
There’s a lot on the table, but Lucasfilm has faced challenges before, and as we saw in ‘Rogue One,’ are not above completely overhauling a film to make it work. And the other thing is, especially for ‘Episode IX,’ there’s still lots of time. The film isn’t expected to shoot until next year and isn’t due in cinemas until 2019. Nonetheless, it’ll be very interesting to watch this all unfold.