From the very moment that Carrie Fisher passed away late last year, Star Wars fans have been wondering how her absence might impact the future of the franchise. Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi had already completed filming at the time of her death, but what about Colin Trevorrow's still-untitled Star Wars: Episode IX?
Given the actress' unexpected appearance in December's Rogue One (in which Fisher appeared as a fully-CGI creation), some theorized that similar digital trickery might be employed to bring her back for Trevorrow's film. Those rumors were quickly shot down, but recent comments made by Todd Fisher, Carrie's brother, got the conversation started again: according to him, footage of the late actress would be used in Episode IX.
Enter: Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy, who put the issue to bed once and for all in an ABC News interview conducted in conjunction with Star Wars Celebration. Says Kennedy (as quoted by The Playlist):
“Sadly, Carrie will not be in nine. But we will see a lot of Carrie in eight. (Todd Fisher) was probably confused because we finished everything in Eight, and Carrie is absolutely phenomenal in the movie. We’re so happy that we were able to complete shooting in the summer. Unfortunately, Carrie passed away. So by the time we were well under way with Episode IX– in our thoughts–we had not written the script, but we’ve regrouped and started over again in January.”
So, there you have it, folks: Carrie Fisher will not be in Colin Trevorrow's Star Wars: Episode IX, and the script currently being hammered out will work around her passing. How they'll manage that is anyone's guess, but given Fisher's iconic, integral role in the franchise, we're sure that whatever they've come up with will be handled respectfully.
Stay tuned for more out of Star Wars Celebration as the weekend rolls on.