Story by Peyton Brasfield
Carrie Fisher has a legacy that most people in hollywood can only dream of. With a career that spans nearly half a century, the death of this hollywood legend has shaken “Star Wars” fans of all generations.
Fisher was under contract to appear as one of the main characters, Princess Leia, in “Star Wars” Episodes 8 and 9. Filming for Episode 8 was finished before Fisher’s passing, but she was still scripted to play a big part in the remainder of the series.
Many major scenes were planned such as a reunion with Luke Skywalker, who has been missing for 30 years, and a confrontation with Kylo Ren, the new trilogy’s villain, and General Leia’s son.
With these things in mind, fans have started to wonder where the story is headed now that one of the faces of one of the biggest characters has now passed.
Both fans and studio executives have thrown around ideas on how to solve this issue without causing problems within the universe’s continuity.
One idea that’s been tossed around is a reconstruction of her character using computer generated imaging, commonly referred to as CGI. This method was used in 2016’s “Rogue One: a Star Wars Story.” It was used to bring back Grand Moff Tarkin, actor Peter Cushing who died in 1993, using a mixture of motion capture and computer generated facial features.
“I thought it looked exactly like him…I knew he was dead but I thought it was cool that they were able to recreate him,” said Senior Bailey Lourens, a self proclaimed “Star Wars” fan.
However, this solution was met with very mixed responses. Many people question the ethics of using a person’s likeness after their death.
Cushing’s estate has given permission to use his likeness, because without it, they couldn’t legally use his image in film. Despite this, the event still raises controversy.
The same goes for Fisher. It’s unclear whether or not Lucasarts and Disney have permission to use Fisher’s likeness, but many people think that’s the way studios are prepared to solve the problems that came with her passing.
“I definitely think it’d be more of an honor to her instead of like replacing her,” said Lourens. He also said that even though people would know it’s not Fisher, It would at least reassure fans that the studios didn’t replace her.
However, Lourens also thinks the CGI should be used sparingly.
Laurens pointed out that it can work well if studios use the CGI sparingly like with Grand Moff Tarkin.
The studio has already dipped their toes into the CGI pool with Fisher at the end of Rogue One. They reconstructed a young Carrie Fisher for the last scene of the movie, which was met with a much better response.
“I thought it was well done… and she approved of it so I [do] too,” said Junior Will Sullivan.
The final, and least likely direction for Disney to go is to replace Carrie Fisher.
Most people who aren’t huge fans of “Star Wars” would think this could be a viable solution, as it’s been done before. Film has seen major recastings in franchises such as “Harry Potter” and the “X-Men” series.
However, Fisher’s case may be different. Anyone who’s been to a “Star Wars” premiere or a comic-con knows that “Star Wars” fans are particularly passionate. The actors have made their characters their own, and as Peter Cushing’s appearance in “Rogue One” has proved, the faces of “Star Wars” seem to be irreplaceable.
Another solution on the table is extensive rewrites to account for Leia’s absence in Episode 9.
Any way Lucasfilms decides to go with this could cause major issues with the story. Just explaining her absence through exposition would be an underwhelming goodbye for the series’ most powerful female presence.
The other option is quickly killing her off-screen, which, again, could cause many fans to be disappointed by the send-off.
“They already shot Episode 8…so they can try to eliminate some of her scenes and have reshoots saying ‘oh leia went off to do something else,’ just to get her out of the picture somehow,” said Sullivan.
Right now, all fans can do is hope that Disney and Lucasfilms go in the right direction with the character of General Leia. They can look forward to the final big screen appearance in “Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi” for a proper goodbye.