Carrie Fisher, Star Wars, The Force Awakens



What is Star Wars without Princess Leia?

The unexpected death of Carrie Fisher may change the direction of the ninth film in the series.

In fact, movie insiders told The Hollywood Reporter Thursday that at least two key scenes had been planned for Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX: a Leia reunion with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and a confrontation with Leia's son Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Insiders claimed Leia was meant to have a more prominent role in Episode IX than Episode VIII.

Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly are writing the script, though its status is unknown; Disney and Lucasfilm are not commenting. Trevorrow will visit L.A. the week of Jan. 10 for meetings with Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy to discuss options, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Many have wondered where Leia will return in Episode IX via CGI special effects—particularly after Fisher's character appeared in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It wasn't actually Fisher onscreen, but rather a digital rendering made to look just as she did in Star Wars: A New Hope.

Meanwhile, earlier this week Insurance Insider reported Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures had a $50 million "so-called contract protection cover as insurance" in the event that Fisher was unable to fulfill her Star Wars filming obligations, "with the policy now likely to trigger."

Disney and the insurance company, however, declined to comment.

No one at Lucasfilm seems to be in a rush to solve its Leia problem. As an insider told The Hollywood Reporter Thursday, "People are still deeply mourning Carrie's death over there."

Hours after Fisher's passing, Kennedy issued a statement commending her achievements. "Carrie holds such special place in the hearts of everyone at Lucasfilm it is difficult to think of a world without her. She was Princess Leia to the world but a very special friend to all of us. She had an indomitable spirit, incredible wit, and a loving heart," she said. "Carrie also defined the female hero of our age over a generation ago. Her groundbreaking role as Princess Leia served as an inspiration of power and confidence for young girls everywhere. We will miss her dearly."

So, too, will Star Wars fans throughout the galaxy.

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