The recent death of iconic Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher has prompted more than a few questions about the future of the franchise, given her active role in 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and next year’s still-untitled Episode VIII.
Those questions appear to have been answered, as a new report indicates that Fisher had already finished filming her scenes for Episode VIII. It appears that there won’t need to be any adjustments to her character’s arc until Episode IX, which arrives in theaters in 2019.
According to Variety, Fisher’s work on Episode VIII was finished when the film concluded principal photography back in July, and her role in the film wasn’t expected to require any reshoots or post-production work necessitating Fisher’s presence.
Fisher died December 27, 2016, after going into cardiac arrest four days earlier during a flight from London to Los Angeles.
Given that Fisher’s part in Episode VIII was completed, there’s quite a bit of time for writers to make adjustments to the script for Episode IX, which is expected to begin filming in 2018. Fisher’s character, Leia Organa — the last princess of Alderaan and now a military leader for the New Republic — was expected to appear in Episode IX, so some changes will indeed have to be made to that film’s story.
Star Wars: Episode IX is set to be directed by Jurassic World filmmaker Colin Trevorrow, who is co-writing the script with frequent collaborator Derek Connolly. The script is based on an early story treatment penned by Episode VIII director and co-writer Rian Johnson. The film is scheduled to hit theaters in late 2019.
Star Wars: Episode VIII will be Fisher’s final big-screen role, and is scheduled to hit theaters December 15, 2017.