When the very first Star Wars film landed on movie screens from a galaxy far, far away in 1977, it was full of special effects that had never been seen before; the ground-breaking, landmark film was far ahead of its time. Today, the ability to create special effects through CGI has advanced light years beyond what was possible back then. But one CGI effect that won’t be in upcoming Star Wars films is a representation of Princess Leia, played by the late Carrie Fisher.
The official Star Wars website addressed swirling internet rumors (imagine that, rumors running rampant on the internet) that Fisher’s iconic character would continue in the franchise. Happen, it will not, as Yoda might put it.
“We don’t normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumor circulating that we would like to address,” the statement reads. “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.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the statement was in response to a report that “Lucasfilm was in negotiations with Fisher’s estate to include a digital re-creation of her likeness in future Star Wars films.” The most recent Star Wars film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, re-created the Leia character from 1977, as well as the late Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin.
THR also says Fisher had completed filming her parts for Episode VIII which is due on Christmas Day, and Episode IX, out in 2019. That movie will begin filming early next year. Cynics might note, though — Lucasfilm’s statement said it had “no plans” to move forward with a CGI Leia. Shooting scripts change all the time, and only time will tell if those “plans” are modified at all. The bottom line is, after all, the bottom line.