Carrie Fisher's role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi hasn't changed in light of her death, but the actress' unfortunate passing has thrown plans for Star Wars 9 for a loop. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told Vanity Fair that the third film, set to release in 2019, would have focused largely on Leia, much as The Force Awakens focused on Han and The Last Jedi focuses on Luke.
"The minute she finished [filming The Last Jedi], she grabbed me and said, 'I’d better be at the forefront of 9!'" Kennedy said. "She thought 9 would be her movie. And it would have been."
Kennedy didn't go into further detail about how the plot would've put Leia in the spotlight, only that she would have played a major role and that CG reanimation (a la Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One) is off the table. This means that the Star Wars 9 script has required significant revision, to the point of, as Vanity Fair describes it, "reconceiving" the film.
In short, it looks like Fisher's last mark on the series will be The Last Jedi. But if it's any consolation, it sounds like one hell of a mark.
Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron, remarked that Fisher seemed to really enjoy her role in The Last Jedi. "We did this scene where Carrie has to slap me," he said. "I think we did 27 takes in all, and Carrie leaned into it every time, man. She loved hitting me. Rian found such a wonderful way of working with her, and I think she really relished it."
Johnson said Fisher was also deeply involved in the writing process. "After I had a draft, I would sit down with her when I was working on re-writing," he recalled. "Sitting with her on her bed, in her insane bedroom with all this crazy modern art around us, TCM on the TV, a constant stream of Coca-Cola, and Gary the dog slobbering at her feet."
I don't know about you, but that's an image I can smile at.
For more from the Vanity Fair Last Jedi preview, check out the reveal of Benicio del Toro and Laura Dern's characters. John Boyega also has some interesting insight into Finn's development as well. He's a big deal now, for realsies.
Images: Lucasfilm / Disney