Yesterday we received the official casting announcement for Star Wars. For a simple casting sheet we actually learned quite a lot. Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant are in the film in some capacity. Keri Russell was notably absent, but that was later explained away and she was confirmed to the cast. Billy Dee Williams is officially in the movie as is Mark Hamill. It was one last inclusion that caught everyone’s attention. Carrie Fisher officially has a role in Episode 9.
It was explained that JJ Abrams could not find a satisfactory version of the film without including our lost Princess in some manner. A new actress and CGI were ruled out very early on by Lucasfilm and they stuck to their word. It was said old footage from The Last Jedi will be used to give Leia her due screen time.
I don’t think it will matter who you are. When Princess Leia shows up on the screen for the first time it will snap most every movie goer out of the movie for a moment as we remember our Princess is gone. If Leia does in fact die and not just hand over the mantle of leadership an disappear it will be all the more emotional.
Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd (Lt Connix) has reportedly approved. Carrie’s brother Todd has weighed in on Carrie appearing in the film. HE had the following to say with Variety Magazine:
“I couldn’t be more personally thrilled and happy that our Carrie will reprise her role as Princess Leia in the new and final Star Wars Episode IX, using previously unreleased footage of her shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” he went on,“As we, her family, as well as her extended family of fans around the world so believe, Carrie’s Princess Leia is forever entrenched in the franchise and her indelible presence is fundamental to the film. J.J. Abrams understood Carrie’s iconic role, and he has masterfully re-crafted this final entry to include this unused and very last footage of Carrie ever taken, without resorting to CGI or animatronics. Our family and her fans will look forward with great anticipation for this one! Her force will forever be with us!”
Todd has been very supportive of Lucasfilm has tried to do since the passing of Carrie in 2016 at the age of 60. Todd has been the stand in at many functions that have honored Carrie since her passing.
Let’s face it. Lucasfilm owns Princess Leia. They have the rights to do what they want with the images and features of Carrie Fisher. There is nothing anyone could do to stop them from doing what they wanted with the role to finish the movie whether it be CGI, replacement, or old footage. Yet Lucasfilm has bent over backwards to both honor Carrie, her memory and legacy as well as respect the wishes of the Fisher family. This is a pretty nice move by any studio.