Carrie Fisher died before filming commenced on Star Wars: Episode IX, but it would appear that hasn’t stopped her iconic character from featuring heavily in what is expected to be the final entry in the Skywalker-specific saga.
According to Carrie’s brother, Todd, there’s enough footage that hit the cutting room floor in The Force Awakens to create a meaty role for Leia.
“There’s a lot of minutes of footage. I don’t mean just outtakes. This is unused, new content that could be woven into the storyline. That’s what’s going to give everybody such a great kick. It’s going to look like it was meant to be. Like it was shot yesterday.” – Todd Fisher
Unsurprisingly, the response to the news has been rather positive. Fans want to see Leia get a good, fitting send off, rather than a post-crawl funeral and House Of Cards-style how-did-it-happen aftermath.
But we at MovieGulp are not convinced. For a start, Abrams himself seems unconvinced by what they came up with:
“Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without [Carrie] eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.” – JJ Abrams
That most of the footage comes from The Force Awakens is also rather concerning – her performance in it was far from her best work (she had been out of the acting game for a considerable period of time).
Indeed, Rian Johnson teased a far more impressive showing from her in The Last Jedi, writing Leia into the story with purpose and presenting her as a matriarch and mentor to Dameron Poe, dressed in prequel-style gowns. He seemed to ‘get’ Leia while Abrams simply squeezed her in – and perhaps even cut around her.
Further, using previous footage sounds like shoe-horning in itself. If the footage wasn’t good enough for The Force Awakens, why is it suddenly good enough now? Maybe it was pacing. Then again, maybe it wasn’t…
We’re extremely happy to be wrong on this, but remain unconvinced.
The untitled Star Wars sequel hits cinemas this December.