By Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)
The world was shocked when Carrie Fisher passed away over the holidays after suffering a massive heart attack. The actress finished filming her role for Star Wars: Episode VIII, but it was revealed that she would have had an even larger role in the next chapter before she died.
This week, meetings between Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy and Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow took place in order to decide what they will be doing next. One of those options was to digitally resurrect Fisher in the same way Peter Cushing was brought back for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. BBC TV show Newsnight explored the concept of digitally recreating actors with CGI for movies and television and revealed that Lucasfilm and Disney are already meeting with Carrie Fisher’s estate about continuing to use her likeness for more Star Wars. Here’s the full quote from Newsnight reporter Kirsty Wark (via Gizmodo):
Carrie Fisher died less than a fortnight ago, but in the minds of Disney movie moguls and Star Wars fans, she’s very much alive. And with what might be regarded as unseemly haste, Disney is negotiating with the actor’s estate over her continued appearance in the franchise. If Disney gets the go-ahead, Carrie Fisher will join Peter Cushing, who, last month, fifteen years after his death, played a key role in Rogue One as Grand Moff Tarkin. With computers, anything is possible, but is it desirable? While some living actors are contracting over the use of their image when they die, others, like Robin Williams, who killed himself in 2014, explicitly banned the commercial use of his image until 2039.
Peter Cushing was brought back in a very limited role on Rogue One, but if Lucasfilm plans on bringing Fisher back for the ninth saga outing, it will be even more ambitious — provided they aren’t changing the screenplay. Before we jump to conclusions, it should be noted that it is possible they’re asking just to see if it is even an option to begin with. Lucasfilm has also responded to the rumor, saying the following:
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.
Personally I’m against giving a prominent part to a deceased actor, but having something like what was done in Rogue One with a small part works best, if done at all. Lucasfilm has very limited options, since the iconic role cannot be recast, but the character’s story needs some sort of closure.