It has been several months since Carrie Fisher tragically passed away, but the Star Wars fandom is still healing from the loss. The iconic actress’ presence has been missed sorely this year as promotions for Star Wars: The Last Jedi are starting to gain traction. In April, Star Wars Celebration paid tribute to Fisher with a moving montage and speech from her daughter Billie Lourd. Now, the cast and crew of The Last Jedi are opening up about Fisher’s legacy to celebrate the franchise’s 40th anniversary. And, according to the head of Lucasfilm, Fisher’s take on Leia was only meant to get bigger as the new Star Wars trilogy came to an end.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Kathleen Kennedy spoke about her friendship with Fisher over the years. It was also there that the executive producer said Star Wars: Episode IX had every intention of being Fisher’s starring film.
“She was having a blast,” Kennedy said, reflecting on Fisher’s filming of The Last Jedi.
“The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ Because Harrison was front and center on VII, and Mark is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been.”
So far, Lucasfilm has stressed that the upcoming Star Wars film wasn’t affected by Fisher’s passing. General Leia will still be a main character who holds the Rebellion together in a front-and-center role. For now, fans will have to wait and see how Leia’s role wraps in The Last Jedi as it will be the final Star Wars film to feature Fisher. Despite rumors earlier in the year, Lucasfilm confirmed it would not include Fisher in Star Wars: Episode IX and simply wrap the character’s storyline this December.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15.
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Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second film in the new Star Wars sequel trilogy that began with Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. The film will deal with Luke training Rey to become a, and possibly the last, Jedi. Meanwhile, the Resistance, including Poe Dameron and First Order defector Finn, continues to fight against the First Order, led by General Hux, while Supreme Leader Snoke and his Dark Side follower Kylo Ren continue their mysterious plot.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson and stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and Kelly Marie Tran.