How ‘Star Wars’ Is Going To Handle The Death Of Carrie Fisher

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The last 48 hours has been dominated by the sudden deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. This mother and daughter duo blazed a trail through Hollywood while each was leaving their mark that will last indefinitely. Reynolds showed that she could keep up with the likes of Gene Kelly on-screen while tackling each role with an abundance of enthusiasm. Fisher not only impacted the world of screenwriting (she helped punch-up such scripts as Hook and Lethal Weapon 3) but showed little girls across the world that they can be whatever they want to be (a princess or a general).However, with her untimely death comes a gigantic hole that needs to be filled in the Star Wars Universe. Let’s examine some of the options they have.

1. Recast Princess/General Leia

There is no way they are going to be able to pull this off. Carrie Fisher was Princess Leia and recasting her would lead to catastrophic results (The Star Wars universe might just riot)Carrie Fisher

2. CGI Princess/General Leia

Technology has finally reached a point where an actor can be dead and still make an appearance in a motion picture. In Furious 7, they used CGI technology to insert Paul Walker towards the end of the film as he had passed away close to the conclusion of the shoot. In Rogue One, Peter Cushing (who died 22 years ago) reprised his role as Grand Moff Tarkin through the magic of CGI. However, could Lucasfilm and Disney get away with having a CGI Princess/General Leia in Episode IX? The answer is no as she’s too iconic of character to resort to digital trickery for a whole film.

3.Do what the Hunger Games did.

When Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed away during the last weeks of filming Mocking Jay, director Francis Lawrence felt the only way to handle the loss was to tweak the script.

In Mockingjay Part 2, they ended up giving the remainder of his lines to Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and it ended up being a nice tribute to his character. I could see them working her into Episode IX in this manner. Perhaps she’s in hiding from the First Order and sends a message to our new band of heroes.

4. Princess/General Leia is going to have to be killed

In my opinion, this is the only logical way to handle Carrie Fisher’s untimely passing. Something tells me that this might be all a moot point in the end as we aren’t even sure she survived Star Wars Episode VIII. Remember, Leia has to be pretty upset that Kylo Ren (Ben Solo -her son) killed the love of her life. Something tells me she’s not going just to sit by and not seek out some retribution. What if Kylo and Leia have a similar encounter the way Han and Kylo did? Leia has to go out in a blaze of glory (just like Han did).

General Leia

Now, let’s say she does survive Episode VIII, then in the narrative of Episode IX, she should face the same fate her adoptive parents did on Alderaan. Remember ….. 

To do anything other than that would signal to rest of the world that Carrie Fisher was replaceable and as you well know, she was the furthest from that.

Star Wars Blu-Ray

What do you think will happen? Leave a comment and let us know.

Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.


  1. I’ve already talked about this with fellow star wars fans with whom I work with. They are in total agreeable that general leia should receive jedi warrior royal funeral at the end of the next sw film. How she dies will b fitting to a jedi knight

  2. I had heard that in Ep 8, there is an attempt on Leia’s life, and the only reason she survived is because she used the Force.
    I previously thought they would kill off each OT character in each ST movie:
    Ep. 7 – Han
    Ep. 8 – Leia
    Ep. 9 – Luke (after he destroys Snoke or fulfills his purpose)

  3. Billie Lord’s character should be revealed as the daughter of Leia and an admiral.. Billy’s character will be acting on behalf Of Princess Leia. Leia can be in the film via deleted scenes from previous movies with new dialogue.

  4. Leia the White. In her comatose state she’ll pass through the realms of the Force, returning at “The turning of the tide” to reveal she’s actually the more powerful twin and in her glorified CG form (which won’t seem so bad since it’s all radiating with force power) she’ll wrench the darkness from her mind-sickened son who will destroy Snoke in the volcano beneath Vader’s castle and in the end they will all transcend to the undying realms of the Force.
    The End
    By me.
    (Now I’m gonna’ crayon and ink pen a picture of it and put it on the ‘frigerator.)

  5. runors had it that 7 was Han’s story, 8 was Luke’s, and 9 would have been Leia’s..if so then a major change will have to be made or the story could be told from a 3rd person perspective (years after the event) with some cgi flash backs of Leia and her death

  6. My thought process heading into the Sequel Trilogy was was that Han, Leia & Luke would all have to die to leave a clear path for the next generation of Star Wars heroes – in this case Rey, Finn & Poe. With Han meeting his untimely demise in TFA (as expected) I was already anticipating Leia to die in Episode VIII. So I don’t think they’ll have to do anything to address the passing of Carrie Fisher, as in my mind it’s already been taken care of. And just to finish the thought, I expect Luke to become one with the Force early in Episode IX leaving our cast of heroes to wrap up the trilogy on their own, unencumbered from the legacy Star Wars heroes.

    Who knows if I’m right or wrong, but that’s part of the fun when it comes to talking about Star Wars. Looking forward to seeing just how it all plays out next December!

  7. I think the best thing to do is add a scene where she dies. Add her force spirit in ep 9. This means Luke has to be alive till ep. 9 because killing Luke and Leia in the same movie would be anti climactic.

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