Oscar Isaac, who plays hotshot Resistance pilot and budding leader Poe Dameron in the newest Star Wars trilogy, says it "always" feels like late General Leia Organa actress Carrie Fisher is still around when shooting the in-the-works Episode IX. "Of course she's with us," Isaac told USA Today.
Returning director J.J. Abrams, who revived the franchise in 2015 with The Force Awakens, "seems to me just as excited if not more so because now there's a history there, there's a shorthand, and the nature of the story is different," Isaac said.
Despite the real-life loss of Fisher, her iconic Star Wars character will continue to be involved with a galaxy far, far away by way of re-purposed previously unused footage because "finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us," Abrams said.
Fisher played mother to the corrupted Ben Solo-slash-Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), son of the since-killed-off Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and nephew of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), a Dark Side user who now rules the First Order unopposed with an iron fist. The dwindling Resistance is all that stands in Ren's way, lead by a still-feisty Leia and Isaac's Poe, poised to inherit the mantle of leader for the rebel freedom fighters.
"You want to get people [to question him] as opposed to have some sort of easy answer of like, 'Yeah, yeah, he did the right thing. He was a hero.' What's the cost of this stuff?" Isaac said of Poe's controversial and mutinous actions in Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi, which saw most of the Resistance decimated.
The small band of heroes "are guerrilla fighters, adhering closer to something like the Revolutionary War fighters or even the guerrillas in Cuba with Che and Fidel and all these guys living in the mountains, coming down to do some attacks, and going back and trying to hide from the 'empire' of the United States. It's that kind of ragged at this point," Isaac said.
"You hear about stories with [George] Washington as a general, where lots of people died based on their orders," Isaac added, "but that is part of leadership and that push-and-pull in the fight for figuring out what's the way to move forward."
Fans got their first look at Poe in Episode IX by way of leaked set photos that showed the pilot sporting a new outfit.
Star Wars: Episode IX, starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, and Carrie Fisher, opens December 20, 2019.