Losing Carrie Fisher was a tragedy. Please do not compound that tragedy with your handling of her character.
I see three basic options:
- You can kill, incapacitate, or otherwise remove Leia from the story, off screen.
- You can severely cut back Leia’s part and CGI her, as you did with Peter Cushing.
- Or you can recast Leia.
Here’s why I do not recommend the first two options:
Carrie Fisher cannot be replaced. We all know and understand this.
But, while Carrie Fisher is gone, Leia Organa is still alive*.
The thing you need to understand is how important Leia is to women who were girls when the first Star Wars movies were released. We’d never seen anything like her: confident, out-spoken, competent, strong, smart.
For a girl growing up at that time Princess Leia was a symbol showing us that we did not have to be soft and compliant and submissive. We could be like Leia Organa. Be strong and own that. Be smart and own that. Be out-spoken and competent without feeling like there was something wrong with you.
I want the girls who will be women in a few years to have that same character, that same strong, confident, competent character to look up to. Absolutely, they have Rey, but Rey is young and pretty. Leia is mature and still not afraid to be in charge. It’s an important thing to see, an older woman whose appearance is a secondary concern.
Which brings me to the third option of recasting. There are plenty of actresses of an appropriate age to take on that part. No, they won’t be replacing Carrie — no one could — but they will be allowing Leia Organa to continue to live. They will allow you to continue to tell us Leia’s story.
Off the top of my head Meryl Streep and Geena Davis both could take on that part. Leia will forever be Carrie Fisher, but they could pay tribute to Carrie. Young women, whether they’re young now or young in their hearts, need General Leia Organa on the screen.
Please consider allowing Leia to live fully in episode IX of the Star Wars franchise.
ETA: Sigourney Weaver, Kate Mulgrew, Ellen Barkin, Kathleen Turner, Dana Delaney, Linda Hamilton (!!!!)… the list goes on.
*I know it’s possible Leia dies in episode VIII. I certainly hope not.