Carrie Fisher Should Be Used Sparingly in ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

Matthew Loffhagen
Disney
(Photo: Disney)

I hate to be that guy about this, but I’m worried that Disney might be planning to shove too much of Carrie Fisher into “Episode IX”.

Bear in mind that I love Fisher. I miss her as much as anyone.

My favorite part of “The Last Jedi” is the scene where she flies through space, and I defy anyone who says it looks stupid. It’s the most emotional moment of the entire film precisely because of its wider context, and I’m completely willing to overlook the janky CGI.

That said, I’m worried about how JJ Abrams plans to bring Leia Organa back to life.

Apparently, Abrams will use previously shot footage from “The Force Awakens” to achieve his goal.

I’m not sure if that footage is really going to work by itself.

Deleted scenes are typically deleted for a reason. They’re not generally of benefit to the overall story in a complete movie.

What makes this even more suspicious is that apparently, the footage that will be used has never been seen before. This suggests that Abrams won’t be using deleted scenes that have been revealed to the public thus far.

They’re the deleted deleted scenes. Abrams plans to scrape the bottom of the barrel in order to jam Leia Organa into his movie in a cameo role.

While it’ll be great to see Fisher in this movie (and while I definitely think that this is better than using CGI), I can’t help but remember “Mockingjay Part 2” and wince.

A similar technique is used in this film to add the late Philip Seymour Hoffman into scenes. Shots of him sitting quietly and listening to other actors make up the bulk of his inclusion.

Hoffman floats ethereally, a slight distance away from everyone else. He’s always silent, and his big speech is read out by Woody Harrelson’s character at the climax of the film.

It’s really not great.

Fitting Fisher In

We know that “Episode IX” was originally written to be Fisher’s movie. General Organa was to have her moment in the spotlight as she came face to face with her wayward son.

It would have been really great. Whatever Abrams is planning to do instead, probably won’t work out quite as well as the theoretical “Episode IX” that centers on Princess Leia.

The best solution would probably have been to keep Luke alive at the end of “The Last Jedi” and let him turn up to challenge Kylo Ren instead. Alas, this can’t happen, because Lucasfilm inexplicably allowed Rian Johnson to make a movie in isolation, without giving any thought to the wider implications of his film.

Mark Hamill has tweeted out that he’s gearing up to end his run on “Star Wars”, and that it’s weird to do so without Fisher’s involvement. I suspect that “Episode IX” will make good use of Luke’s Force Ghost in order to paper over some cracks in the plot that have been caused by prying Leia Organa out of the story.

So where will Leia fit in, if she’s not going to be the focus of the movie?

Out of the Spotlight

I get the feeling we’ll see her in a few unimportant scenes. She’ll lurk in the background, speaking up every so often to send Resistance heroes out on important missions.

Somewhere in there, Disney will attempt to sneak in some CGI Leia shots in order to fix up incomplete scenes. Some of them, we’ll notice. Others will go by without registering as strange.

Bear in mind how much of even a straightforward movie like “Logan” relied on gluing actors’ faces over stunt doubles. Lucasfilm has access to the most advanced version of this technology on the planet, and it’ll be an awful lot easier than turning Guy Henry into Grand Moff Tarkin in “Rogue One”.

I just hope that the company doesn’t tip their hand. It’d be disrespectful to try and squeeze as much Princess Leia into the mix as they possibly can.

Add Fisher’s likeness into the movie for flavor, sure. Give her a meaningful send-off if you must.

Just don’t go nuts. This is still a very raw wound for many of us, and we really don’t want to see Disney showing off by building an entire movie around five minutes of Carrie Fisher B-roll footage.