We finally have some insight into how Disney is confronting the death of its “Star Wars” star, Carrie Fisher, as it prepares to released the next movie in the saga, “Episode VIII,” aka “The Last Jedi,” which comes out December 15.
One thing has been made clear by Disney CEO Bob Iger in a new interview: Fisher’s General Leia role will not undergo any tweaking, nor any CGI reviving of the actress along the lines of what we saw in “Rogue One.”
“We had to deal with tragedy at the end of 2016. Carrie appears throughout ‘VIII,'” Iger said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We are not changing ‘VIII’ to deal with her passing. Her performance remains as it is in ‘VIII.’ In ‘Rogue One,’ we had some digital character. We are not doing that with Carrie.”
Fisher did complete her work on production of “The Last Jedi” before she died following a heart attack in December, so this isn’t a huge surprise. But it raises the question of what will happen in the next chapter after “The Last Jedi,” “Episode IX,” which is also the final chapter in the new trilogy. If there are no story tweaks to “Episode VIII,” how will its sequel suddenly deal with the loss of Fisher? Will a CGI Leia appear then, or will the movie use another offscreen way to address the absence of such an important character?
Either way, it will add a heaviness to both “The Last Jedi” and its sequel that fans couldn’t have previously expected.