Thanks to Disney’s recent casting announcement, we know that Carrie Fisher will posthumously reprise her role as General Leia Organa in Star Wars Episode IX via recorded but unused footage from Episode VII. Now the speculation begins with respect to how that footage will be utilized. Almost prophetically, Disney’s use of multiple media platforms in its canonical storytelling may very well have set the stage for Abram’s application of that footage in Episode IX.
In Claudia Gray’s novel Bloodline, we learn that Leia had returned to her political roots by becoming a senator in the New Republic. As much as Han Solo needed an escape from the life of politicians, diplomats and ambassadors, so too did Leia. While the truth that Leia was the daughter of Darth Vader came to light by less than desirable means, it ultimately served as a blessing in disguise for Leia; it allowed her to shrug off the mantle of political protocol and create the Resistance – to actually do something.
While this back story may not seem significant when viewed solely with respect to the films, Leia’ progression from being a galactic senator, and the regalia the office entailed, to being a roll-up-your-sleeves general in a resistance army laid the perfect groundwork for J.J. Abrams; archival, unused footage of General Organa from Episode VII allows Fisher one last swan song in Episode IX without seeming at all out of place for the character.
Remember, for nearly all of her limited scenes in The Force Awakens, Leia was clad in what appeared to be Resistance fatigues and a vest. Even factoring in an assumed time jump between The Last Jedi and Episode IX, it stands to reason that the Resistance will regroup at some clandestine, hideaway base far from the First Order’s prying eyes. With the exception of Hoth, Rebel/Resistance bases have all had the same basic aesthetic and feel.
We know Abrams is not shy about relying on nostalgia, and it’s already been revealed that Episode IX filming will return to the same location used for Yavin-4. Everything’s fallen into place such that blending unused footage of Fisher in her general’s garb on a Resistance base should be an easy task. It’s almost as if the universe knew that Carrie Fisher wasn’t quite done with us yet.