The Conundrum of General Leia
February 27, 2017 Leave a comment
Shortly after Carrie Fisher passed away in December, worry about her role and the future of Princess Leia in Episodes VIII and IX started to surface online. My first feeling was a sense of loss of someone I’d looked up to my whole life. Although it doesn’t seem nearly as important as the loss of Carrie Fisher the person, I also felt the loss of Carrie Fisher as Leia in the still unfinished new Star Wars trilogy. We knew long before her death, that Carrie Fisher had already filmed her parts in Episode VIII so that wasn’t in question.
Now that a little time has passed, I thought I’d pull together some thoughts on the options we Star Wars fans have for General Leia Organa. The way I see things, there are four options that Disney has for how to handle Episodes VIII (The Last Jedi) and IX (as yet untitled) without Carrie Fisher.
- Recast: Rumors are that Leia was going to have a larger role in Episode IX then she did in The Force Awakens or will have in The Last Jedi. One way to continue the storyline as originally intended is to recast another actress to play Leia for those scenes. I don’t want to even speculate potential actresses because for me, Carrie Fisher is Princess (General) Leia and no matter how wonderful another actress might be, I won’t accept another person filling her shoes.
- Digital Recreation: As they did with a young Leia and General Tarkin in the recently released Rogue One, Disney now has the technology to digitally recreate an actor or actress and inner them into a film, interacting with other characters. They could recreate General Leia using image data from The Force Awakens. Thankfully, it looks like this won’t happen. Almost immediately, Disney released an official statement that they wouldn’t use the new Digital technology to recreate General Leia in Episode IX.
- Write in the death of Leia: While her scenes are filmed for Episode VIII, they could rewrite the storyline going forward to incorporate the death of Leia, either on screen of off. This could serve as a sort of catharsis for all of us who lost her, both Carrie and Leia, and allow us to say goodbye. I have mixed feelings about this option, because while I’d like to be able to say goodbye to my Princess, I want her to live forever. It was hard enough losing Han. I don’t want to have to lose Leia too in order to usher in this new generation of Star Wars kids. (Don’t get me started on Luke)
- Rework the scenes already filmed: This one hit me almost immediately but I didn’t see anyone suggesting it in all of the blog or forum comments I’ve read over the lat few months. If her scenes have already been filmed, why not rework when they would appear, and split them up. Use some of them in The Last Jedi and some in Episode IX. This would allow Leia to continue through both of the remaining films in the new trilogy without having to kill her off. Leia can live on, and she will always be Carrie Fisher’s performance.
After the fourth option came to me, that was the one I wanted most. I know that some scenes we would have gotten will never happen, but we will get the ones that are filmed. Perhaps through some sort of movie magic (shooting over the shoulder of someone about Carrie’s height or something) they can add in additional scenes here or there. There have been rumors of reshoots being done next month swirling about the web.
I don’t know where the current creative minds wanted to take General Leia. I am sure that there were at least two key scenes she’d have before things were all said and done: Reunion with her brother and Reunion with her son. I don’t know if both of those were part of what she already filmed. I hope so, but I don’t know.
I’m ultimately torn. I know I won’t accept any other actress at Leia, so I’m prepared to skip the final episode if that’s what they do. If forced to choose between giving Leia a sendoff or allowing her to live on through another actress, I’d actually choose to say good bye. I just hope that we don’t have to. I find the new trilogy sad enough already without the real possibility that the original Trio (Luke, Han and Leia) will all be dead by the time we’re through. Never did it enter my mind, when I heard that new Star Wars was coming, that I’d have to say goodbye. Perhaps if it had, I could have skipped The Force Awakens and spared myself the disappointment.
Fingers crossed that Disney makes the best decision, whatever that may be, and that whatever they do decide brings us some sort of hope.