After taking a break from the Christmas box office season, “Star Wars” will be back in a big way at the end of 2019 with the release of the still-untitled “Episode IX.” “The Force Awakens” helmer J.J. Abrams is back in the director’s chair for the sequel to Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi.” Lucasfilm confirmed in July 2018 that “Episode IX” would feature the late Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa through the use of unused footage of the character from “The Force Awakens.”
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” Abrams said in an official statement at the time. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. 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.’”
Many “Star Wars” fans have been wondering since the announcement what the unused footage looks like and just how much of it will be seen in “Episode IX.” While the mystery still remains, Fisher’s brother, Todd Fisher, recently appeared on Good Morning America and said he is quite pleased with Carrie’s involvement in the next “Star Wars” movie.
“There’s a lot of minutes of footage,” Todd Fisher confirmed. “I don’t mean just outtakes. This is unused, new content that could be woven into the storyline. 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. We’re not allowed to talk about the details of anything, but we’re thrilled at what’s been done.”
Following the events of “The Last Jedi,” Leia is the only member of the original “Star Wars” trio left alive. Harrison Ford’s Han Solo was murdered by Kylo Ren in “The Force Awakens,” while Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker sacrificed himself for the last of the Resistance to survive in “The Last Jedi.” Hamill will appear in some capacity in “Episode IX,” which is set for release December 20.