Although many Star Wars fans only got to become familiar with her on-screen persona of Leia Organa, virtually everyone who knew Carrie Fisher claimed who she really was as a person was even more incredible than any role she portrayed. Director of Episode IX, Colin Trevorrow, recently revealed to the Irish Examiner how he aims to honor the actress after her sudden passing late last year.
"She had a major role in the film and it's something we had to deal with emotionally at first," Trevorrow explained. "Now we've had to deal with it in very practical ways and in a form of storytelling we know is going to honor her and keep her soul alive, but it is an unfortunate reality that we're just going to have to handle."
The director added, "It's been tough emotionally – and logistically we'll figure that part out, but she was just very important to the Star Wars family and that was the hardest part."
Fisher returned to the franchise to portray one of the most iconic characters in cinema with The Force Awakens, with her role in the film hinting at just how more integral her character had become in the galaxy. No longer being referred to as a "Princess," she had now become a general.
In addition to the sadness felt at the loss of an incredible actress, the world was also saddened that her character wouldn't be explored to its full potential that Fisher deserved to show the world, as Lucasfilm knew they wouldn't try to recast the role.
Prior to her passing, it was reported that a majority of Fisher's scenes for The Last Jedi had been completed, which would only require slight tweaking to rework the narrative going forward.
When speaking to Entertainment Weekly (via THR), Kathleen Kennedy explained, "Obviously, with Carrie having passed away, it shook everybody." The producer added, "We pretty much started over."
"Sadly, Carrie will not be in nine," Kennedy confirmed. "But we will see a lot of Carrie in eight."
Trevorrow had to seriously re-work his plans for Episode IX, revealing to CinemaBlend, "She was a major character, that's not a secret. She really was." He added, "I feel like our options are limited mostly by ourselves, in that there is only certain things that we are willing to do. But I can guarantee it will be handled with love and respect."
Star Wars: Episode IX will premiere May 24, 2019.