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Disney CEO Bob Iger Talks The Future Of Star Wars

Hot off the heels of Woody Harrelson dishing on who he'll be playing in the upcoming Han Solo spinoff and reports that Han Solo may not actually be the beloved spacefaring smuggler's real name, come additional details on what's ahead for the Star Wars franchise.

Disney head honcho Bob Iger attended a tech conference at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where he delved into specifics about the upcoming Star Wars movies, including how The Last Jedi will navigate Carrie Fisher's role following her untimely death and just how long the epic space saga may last.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story featured CGI characters: most notably the come-to-life Grand Moff Tarkin, originally played by the late Peter Cushing, a young Princess Leia. Because the franchise has already relied on computer generation to reintroduce a Star Wars character portrayed by an actor who had passed, many wondered if Episode VIII (The Last Jedi) and Episode IX would do the same for Fisher after her death. Similarly, others speculated that Leia's storyline would be altered to reflect Fisher's absence, particularly in Episode IX. Iger cleared the air on both fronts.

"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."

He continued to confirm that Fisher's role will not be edited, at least in The Last Jedi, nor will Leia 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."

Additionally, Iger touched upon what the future looks like for Star Wars. Now that the original three new films are slated, the creative team allegedly has their eyes aimed quite far along the saga's timeline and are working on crafting new installments past the ninth episode. "We're starting talk about what could happen after Episode IX," Iger stated. "About what could be another decade-and-a-half of Star Wars stories."

Something tells us Star Wars fans would be okay with 15 more years of space adventures. For now, however, they can look forward to the upcoming Han Solo standalone (which reportedly shows Han "getting his name") as well as The Last Jedi, a film with a title that means a lot for Rey and Luke Skywalker.