Bob Iger of Disney recently participated in a tech conference at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. During the proceedings Iger discussed the upcoming Star Wars movies, including how The Last Jedi will navigate Carrie Fisher’s role following her recent untimely death.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story featured CGI characters. As the Star Wars franchise has already relied on computer generation as a way to reintroduce a Star Wars character portrayed posthumously by an actor, fans wondered if Episode VIII (The Last Jedi) and Episode IX would do the same for Fisher. There was also speculation that Princess Leia’s storyline may be altered to reflect Fisher’s absence, particularly in Episode IX.
“When we [Disney] bought Lucasfilm, we were going to make three films: Episodes VII, VIII and IX,” Iger explained (via Variety). “We had to deal [with] tragedy at the end of 2016,” explained Iger. He went on to explain that Fisher’s role will not be edited, at least in The Last Jedi, and that Princess Leia will not appear as a digital-crafted character: “Carrie appears throughout VIII. We are not changing VIII to deal with her passing. Her performance remains as it is in VIII. In Rogue One, we had some digital characters. We are not doing that with Carrie.”
Iger also discussed the future of the Star Wars franchise, “We’re starting talk about what could happen after Episode IX. About what could be another decade-and-a-half of Star Wars stories.”