Star Wars icon Mark Hamill believes late co-star Carrie Fisher, who played princess-turned-General Leia Organa, would get a kick out of appearing in Episode IX without having actually filmed on the picture.
"Harrison [Ford] was more prominent in the first of the sequels, then I was more prominent, and Carrie was meant to be more prominent in the third," Hamill told Den of Geek.
"I'm glad they found a way to do that, and something tells me that she'd get a real kick out of the fact that she had a hit movie years after she left us, because that was just her. I like to think that would please her, but nothing would be better than having her here."
Fisher, who died in December 2016, made her first posthumous Star Wars appearance in 2017's The Last Jedi. That film earned $1.3 billion worldwide.
Returning The Force Awakens writer-director J.J. Abrams was forced to navigate Fisher's loss when developing Episode IX, which involves Fisher's General Organa by way of unused footage from the 2015 relaunch. Fisher's Leia is mother to leading villain Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and was long suspected to play a key role in the finale.
"We desperately loved Carrie Fisher. Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us," Abrams said in a July statement when explaining the decision to repurpose old footage.
"We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie's legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII."
The late star's brother, Todd Fisher, said in December there's "lots of minutes" of footage featuring Leia, namely "unused, new content that could be woven into the storyline," he told ABC News.
"That's what's going to give everybody such a great kick. It's going to look like it was meant to be. Like it was shot yesterday."
Hamill and Billy Dee Williams are set to return in Episode IX alongside new generation stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac. Star Wars: Episode IX releases December 20.
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