Thursday, January 5, 2017

Leia Organa's STAR WARS EPISODE IX Fate Could Be Determined Next Week

Whatever ends up happening, Leia is one with the Force, the Force is with her.

As Star Wars fans across the globe continue to mourn the loss of actress Carrie Fisher, the issue of what will happen to her character, Princess/General Leia Organa remains.  

According to The Hollywood Reporter, that issue may be decided next week as Star Wars Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow, the filmmaker behind Jurassic World, is set to arrive in Los Angeles the week of January 10th for meetings with Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy to discuss their options. 

The article claims insider sources report that "Leia was to have been a bigger part of Episode IX than VIII."  Fisher had completed her filming for Episode VIII prior to her death on December 27, 2016, and THR's sources also claim that "at least two key scenes are planned for Episode VIII (Dec. 15) and Episode IX (2019): a Leia reunion with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and a confrontation with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), her son who killed Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 2015's The Force Awakens."

In addition, the article points out a couple of obvious ways to address the issue, such as writing Leia out and reshooting some Episode VIII scenes.  Rogue One received considerable reshoots and still earned a huge worldwide box office, while Episode VIII also had a major rewrite, as writer/director Rian Johnson reworked his script after seeing changes J.J. Abrams made during his extensive postproduction work for The Force Awakens.

Another solution they point out is the use of CGI effects, with Leia only appearing in glimpses.  To recreate the young Princess Leia for a cameo appearance at the end of Rogue One, a computer-generated image of a young Fisher was superimposed over Norwegian actress Ingvild Deila's face, with archival audio of Fisher saying "Hope" used to voice the character.

The least likely option, one not mentioned in the article, is to simply recast the role for Episode IX, which seems doubtful given Fisher's importance as a Star Wars icon.  However, if Alden Ehrenreich can be cast as a young Han Solo for the upcoming film by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, anything is certainly possible.  

Star Wars Episode VIII is expected to be released on December 15, 2017, with Episode IX slated for sometime in 2019.

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