The unexpected passing of Carrie Fisher last December affected her legion of fans deeply, especially those who are also Star Wars fans. After all, her spirited performance as Princess Leia was an integral element in the original Star Wars trilogy and definitely contributed to the series' enduring popularity.
Her reprisal of the role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, especially the moments she shared opposite Harrison Ford as Han Solo, fulfilled longheld dreams and raised anticipation for the part she might play in the next two installments, which held the promise of a reunion opposite Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).
Very soon after the actress passed away, everyone was reassured that she had completed her work on the eighth installment of the series. Questions quickly arose, however, about Star Wars: Episode IX, especially coming after the digital recreation of Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In response, Lucasfilm stated: "We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa."
Just last week, we heard from Todd Fisher, Carrie Fisher's brother, that he and Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd had granted approval for Disney to use recent footage in Star Wars: Episode IX. Now Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy has clarified that Carrie Fisher will not, in fact, appear in the ninth installment.
Watch her interview with ABC News below:
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Kennedy says: "We'll see a lot" of Carrie Fisher in the eighth installment, which should provide solace to fans when Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theaters on December 15. As for Star Wars; Episode IX, it's not due until 2019, so we have plenty of time to speculate about how it will be affected by Leia's absence.