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Carrie Fisher To Appear In Star Wars Episode IX Via Unused Force Awakens Footage

The late Carrie Fisher will officially reprise her role as Leia Organa in the ninth Star Wars episode, it has been announced. You may, understandably, have some questions about this.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress behind the immortal portrayal of Princess/General Leia Organa in the Star Wars franchise will prove her immortality by appearing in the upcoming, currently untitled Star Wars: Episode IX.

Per the report, Fisher will be made to reprise her role as Leia thanks to unreleased archival footage from the production of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh Star Wars episode which Episode IX director J.J. Abrams previously headed up in 2015.

The news is guaranteed to cause divisive reactions within the Star Wars fan community, in which the puzzle of what to do about Leia has run rampant since Fisher's untimely death in December 2016

Rumors have swirled that Disney and Lucasfilm would take the bold step of recasting the role with a prominent Hollywood actress, or alternatively forego including Leia entirely, writing her out of the film with an off-screen death or other explanation. Now, it seems that we know at least what part of the plan entails. 

A statement from Abrams seems to suggest that Leia's role will be entirely constructed from Force Awakens footage, and will not include computer-generated elements.

"We desperately loved Carrie Fisher," Abrams said. "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."

Despite Abrams' statement, however, whether or not Fisher's role will also be bolstered with fully-CGI footage a la Rogue One: A Star Wars Story remains to be seen. After all, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy previously stated that Fisher would not be appearing in Episode IX at all, and now we know that is not the case.

Plot details for the ninth installment in the mainline Star Wars franchise continue to be under lock and key, beyond Billy Dee Williams reprising his role as Lando Calrissian. Additionally, rumors of the inclusion of Expanded Universe characters such as the Jedi Mara Jade have been circulating, as well as reports of a potentially significant time jump between the new movie and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, with a script co-written by Abrams and Chris Terrio, Star Wars: Episode IX will be out in theaters on December 20, 2019.