Earlier this week, a distasteful rumor that Lucasfilm was going to use CGI (like we just saw in Rogue One) to recreate the late Carrie Fisher for future appearances of Princess Leia in the Skywalker saga began to spread like wildfire when BBC Newsnight reported that Lucasfilm was reportedly negotiating with Fisher’s estate for the continued use of her likeness. But thankfully, Lucasfilm has responded to the rumor, crushing it with their official statement:
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.
Myself, many Star Wars fans, and most importantly Carrie Fisher’s family are still mourning the untimely loss of Carrie. While I don’t think the use of a CGI Leia would be unethical, it would, however, be insensitive this close to Fisher’s death. As we saw just a few years ago, Universal Pictures had to recreate the likeness of Paul Walker using CGI and his brothers, both Caleb and Cody (along with the blessing of Walker’s family) to complete Paul’s scenes in Furious 7 when Paul tragically passed away in a car accident midway through the film’s production. That is now the case, however, with Fisher.
Carrie had already completed her scenes for Episode VIII before she passed away but that doesn’t mean the film won’t be affected. Insiders have told THR that at least two major scenes from the upcoming films (Episode VIII and Episode IX) will be affected including (spoiler warning) a reunion between Princess Leia and her brother, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), and a confrontation between Leia and her son, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), over the murder of his father, Leia’s husband, Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Lucasfilm has already begun to develop a plan to weigh out the options with Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow. Considering Episode VIII isn’t due out until the end of this year, Lucasfilm has plenty of time to come with a way to alter the storyline that not only serves the franchise best but also honors the memory of Carrie Fisher.