The makers of Star Wars have made it clear that they will not “digitally recreate” Carrie Fisher in future instalments of the franchise.
Following Fisher’s death, rumours spread that Lucasfilm were planning to include a CGI version of her performance as Princess Leia/General Organa in future Star Wars films. But a statement released on the official Star Wars website confirmed that this would not be the case.
“We don’t normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumour circulating that we would like to address. 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.
“Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honour everything she gave to Star Wars.”
The rumours began thanks to a key details in the latest Star Wars film Rogue One (spoilers to follow).
In that film, Fisher’s character Princess Leia was recreated for a final scene, showing her as she appeared in A New Hope using a combination of body doubles and digital manipulation.
“To deliver on that moment of hopefulness, that is really underscored by the fact that you do get to see her face,” said Kiri Hart, a Lucasfilm story development executive and Rogue One co-producer at the time.
“That’s the best possible use of effects, to enhance the meaning and the emotion of the experience for the viewer.”
With a precedent already set, it was no surprise that people wondered whether the effect would be used again. Fisher had been set to appear in the next two Star Wars Episodes, VIII and IX.
Filming on Episode VIII has already finished, but the later film will have to reassess its plans.