I still don’t really like saying Carrie Fisher out loud these days. That’s how important she was to Star Wars fans and fans of basic humanity as well. There’s still some kind of near-holy aura that surrounds her when you speak about the tremendous good she did over the years for people that she never even met for the most part. It should also say something that I have to continue to watch myself to refer to her in the past tense rather than present when writing about her. Even in this very article, it’s difficult to keep her absence in mind.
So, it’s not exactly surprising that fans, as well as Disney and Lucasfilms, are hesitant about taking her out of the franchise that made her such an iconic force in the world. She represented the emotional core of the initial trilogy, as well as being a first-class action hero, and she was easily the arrival greeted with the most cacophonous applause in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Her scenes for Star Wars: The Last Jedi had been shot already at the time of her passing but the question remained: what about Episode IX? A few months ago, Lucasfilms said it had no plans to digitize her and put her in the last volume of this trilogy and that seemed like the right thing to do. Today, however, brings news that Fisher’s brother, Todd, and her daughter have given Disney the go-ahead to include Fisher in Episode IX.
At first, one might panic and think that they’re going to pull a Rogue One anyway and have an animated human walking around amongst the real-life ones. That’s not the case. As it turns out, Disney, Lucasfilm, and Trevorrow are planning to use cut scenes from The Last Jedi to bring Fisher back into the fray for one last time. That’s what the family members told the New York Daily News in an interview yesterday, with Todd saying:
“Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don’t…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.“
If that’s the case, this could end up giving Fisher and General Leia a proper send-off from the franchise but I can’t help worrying that this ambition might feel awkward or misguided in the movie itself. Fingers crossed here, everyone.