In the wee hours of 28th December 2016, the world learned of yet another death of a beloved person.
Carrie Fisher was no more.
What followed in the days since has been a flurry of tributes, obituaries and an insane number of cosplay posts all over the internet. Her role as General Leia Organa has inspired an entire generation of people, both fans and casual viewers alike, and she pioneered the idea that a woman could be just as badass as a man. Whether she’s fighting Storm Troopers or seducing Jabba the Hutt to rescue Han Solo, Carrie will always be a role model and an icon of the 21st Century.
But, that’s not what this post is about.
It was understood that Carrie Fisher would play a pivotal role in the upcoming Episode VIII and bigger roles in Episode IX and X. While she did finish shooting for Episode VIII last summer, it begs the question that what is Disney and Lucasfilms going to do about Episode IX and X?
2016’s Rogue One, a Star Wars story used a digitally restored version of the deceased actor Peter Cushing who portrayed Grand Moff Tarkin in Episode IV. Peter Cushing passed away in 1994 so digital restoration of his character is a huge step for the future of filmmaking because it eliminates the fear that studios have for actors especially in franchise films. The restoration did raise some ethical and religious questions but is it the way to go for the future, especially with Leia’s character?
An argument could be made about recasting Leia. Her death, while a huge loss, should not end Leia as well because her story is still incomplete. A lot of famous characters were recast due to death of the original actor. Most notable example of this would be the character of Dumbledore from Harry Potter. Richard Harris portrayed Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter movies and was replaced by Michael Gambon from film 3 onwards due to Richard’s untimely death. While Dumbledore was a character that was required throughout the series, I personally feel so does Leia. An alternative would be to recast Leia for a single movie, finish her story arc and give the character the farewell she deserves.
Digital restoration of her character is a possibility but it would be at the discretion of her family because her personality rights, as defined by the California Celebrity act, cannot be violated by the film company.
What is your take on what should be done? Should she be digitally restored for future Star Wars movie or recast? Let me know in the comments below.