The petition, launched ahead of Star Wars: The Last Jedi's theatrical debut in December, has since garnered support from over 7,800 signees — putting the online petition within reach of its 8,000 signature goal.
"After the death of Carrie Fisher, there have been a lot of uncertainties in how STAR WARS Episode IX is going to deal with Leia," reads the petition, addressed to Disney, Lucasfilm, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and Episode IX co-writer and director J.J. Abrams. "As Lucasfilm claimed that they have no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher with CGI in STAR WARS Episode IX, the more possible solutions are to recast Leia or to write her out of the film."
"As the fans of STAR WARS and Carrie Fisher, we really want Leia to shine in Episode IX and we certainly do not want her to be written out of the film abruptly without a reasonable plot," the petition continues. "Therefore, recasting Leia is a more ideal option for us and we believe that Meryl Streep is an ideal candidate to play Leia."
Actress Carrie Fisher, who portrayed the iconic princess-turned-general across five Star Wars films, died in December 2016 at age 60.
Fisher's death left studio Lucasfilm with a major problem heading into Episode IX, which heads in front of cameras this summer steered once again by The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams: how to handle Leia's future in the franchise when her actress has passed away.
Two weeks after Carrie Fisher's death, Lucasfilm released a statement via the official Star Wars website directly addressing rumors the studio planned to resurrect the actress with CGI for Episode IX.
"We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa," the statement read.6comments
A personal friend of Fisher's, Streep honored the departed actress during the 2017 Golden Globes ceremony by recalling a quote attributed to Fisher: "Take your broken heart, make it into art."
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now available to own on Digital HD, 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray.