Late actress Carrie Fisher will appear as Princess Leia the upcoming Star Wars IX. Her brother, Todd Fisher, confirmed the news.
Speaking with New York Daily News, Todd said he and Carrie's daughter, Billie Lourd, have granted permission to Disney and Lucasfilm to use previously-shot footage of the actress for the new film.
“Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don’t,” Todd said. “She’s as much a part of it as anything, and I think her presence now is even more powerful than it was, like Obi-Wan – when the saber cuts him down, he becomes more powerful. I feel like that’s what’s happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue.”
Just last month, the studios behind Star Wars were the focus of speculation concerning how Carrie's likeness would be portrayed in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Episode VIII), which is due in theaters Dec. 15, 2017. Luckily, Carrie had completed work on the film prior to her death and Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, stated that her performance would not be altered digitally, saying, "We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa.”
Todd added he is not clear on the extent of Carrie's role in the yet-to-be-titled film, however, he is confident that audiences should be pleased either way. “I’m not the only part in that equation, but I think the people deserve to have her,” he said. "She’s owned by them.”
Fans will have to wait to see how Princess Leia's legacy will continue -- filming for Episode IX begins this July, and a theatrical release date is scheduled for May 23, 2019. Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) is set to direct. ~Ashleen Grange