With Princess Leia leaving the new trilogy due to the death of Carrie Fisher, the studio is weighing up what to do. Disney held a braintrust meeting to decide upon the use of her scenes in Star Wars: Episode VIII. Believed to be no more than two key scenes, insiders have outlined that it would have been 2019's Episode IX where Leia was needed most. All to confront Kylo Ren over the passing of Harrison Ford's Han Solo.
Shooting for December 15's release, the production finished prior to the sad news. Leaving it up to the filmmakers and studio to see how they can tie in the remake, if necessary, to 2019's installment. Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy and director Colin Trevorrow are reported to be meeting in Los Angeles this week to iron out a plan. And, depending on their consensus, the last ever film footage of Fisher may be lost to the archives.
Too Early To Make Calls As Star Wars Crew Mourn The Loss
While these are crucial steps that need to be made, the tragedy is too raw and there is enough time to not rush the plans. As opposed to the making of Furious 7, where Paul Walker died as a result of a car crash, LucasFilm and Disney won't have to make an urgent call until filming for Episode IX begins in earnest in 2018.
One insider gave a short statement to THR to state that no one is really in the mood to be making these executive decisions in the immediate future. "People are still deeply mourning Carrie's death over there."
CGI effects have been muted, given the technology that was used to bring a youthful Leia back to life for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Such a concept would be pushed to the limit, but in 2 years time the visual enhancements could be better and for just a couple of scenes, it might make the most sense.
JJ Abrams: We Will See Fisher Again
Producer J.J. Abrams might not be present for this weeks braintrust meet up in LA, but he has just as good an idea about what is happening for the franchise as anybody. Talking to the press at HBO's Golden Globes after-party, Abrams said that it was a matter for Episode IX, rather than this year's installment, where the changes need to be made.
“The work was already done for the next episode,” stated Abrams. “A second film has been shot and that is being edited now. But for the third one it remains to be seen what will happen... There is still no script and I don’t know what Colin (Trevorrow director) is going to do.”