Lucasfilm has mercifully shot down rumors that the studio is planning to digitally resurrect Carrie Fisher in the wake of the inimitable actress’ untimely death. Fisher passed away at the age of 60 last month after suffering a heart attack, which has put the folks at Lucasfilm in a bit of a predicament. While Fisher had wrapped filming on Episode VIII, General Leia was reportedly planned to play a major role in the final film of the new trilogy — a narrative move that makes sense considering her son is the burgeoning big bad of the revamped franchise.
Rumors recently emerged that Disney and Lucasfilm were negotiating with Fisher’s estate for the rights to her digital image and speculation followed that they would take the Grand Moff Tarkin route and render Leia’s performance digitally. Thankfully, the studio seems adamant that they will not pursue that obviously terrible idea.
Here’s the full statement via the official Star Wars website:
We don’t normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumor circulating that we would like to address. We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa.
Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to Star Wars.
After the widespread negative reaction to Peter Cushing‘s digital resurrection Rogue One, doing the same with one of the franchise’s most beloved and spirited characters would be shooting themselves in the foot. I have no doubt Lucasfilm is pursuing the rights to her digital image. After all, General Leia can’t very well just disappear, but one hopes that is in the aim of wrapping up her story instead of substituting Fisher’s vitality with a digital corpse puppet. No doubt, Lucasfilm and their creative team are in a tricky situation, but their statement provides some well-needed relief that they will treat the character, and more importantly, the iconic actress with the respect she deserves.