ET CANADA – When the stars of two of science fiction’s biggest franchises join forces, anything is possible — even replacing Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a star honouring the late Carrie Fisher.
Mark Hamill first floated the idea after vandals trashed the president’s Walk of Fame star, leading to Hollywood City Council voting to remove the star.
Amidst the fracas, the “Star Wars” actor had a genius idea, suggesting Trump’s star be replaced with one paying tribute to “someone who really earned it.”
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) August 6, 2018
A week later, the star of an entirely different sci-fi franchise chimed in.
Now, it’s official: Star Wars fans will have one final chance to say goodbye to Carrie Fisher, with Lucasfilm announcing that the actress, who died in December 2016, will appear in next year’s Star Wars: Episode IX.
In a statement, director J.J. Abrams sought to put concerns about potential CGI resurrections to rest, saying that the new movie will use “unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII” and assuring fans that “we were never going to recast, or use a CG character.” While this is, undoubtedly, comforting, it would also appear to offer particular clues about the role Fisher — or, more specifically, her character, Leia Organa — will play in the movie.
Firstly: Purely for practical purposes, Leia’s presence in the movie will be small. If nothing else, there can’t be that much extraneous, unseen footage from 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens; she was barely in that movie, so unless large swaths of scenes were shot but never even hinted at by anyone involved in the production, there’s limited material to draw from in the first place, and surely not everything available will be used.
Considering the context of the footage, it also limits the potential use for Episode IX. Leia appeared in few scenes and locations in The Force Awakens. Leia was on Takodana, rescuing Han, Chewbacca, Rey and Finn, and then at the Resistance base on D’Qar, where she takes part in planning, and later monitoring, the attack on Starkiller Base. Aside from brief interludes with Han and, later, Rey, she’s very much in “harried leader” mode throughout the movie. Does this mean that this is the Leia we’ll see in Episode IX, even after losing her ex-husband, and then her brother, in the previous two movies?
FOX NEWS – Todd Fisher can still vividly recall the last conversation he had with his sister, Hollywood star and “Star Wars” icon Carrie Fisher.
The pair were celebrating the actress’ birthday with a lavish party thrown by their mother, fellow screen legend Debbie Fisher, who had suffered a stroke a year before.
The siblings, who noticed their mother was excited but frail, were compelled to open up with each other.
“We were talking about traveling together and doing other things, and she was still a little angry at me because, A, the party I had to sort of force down her throat, but my mom wanted it, and B, there was always different tension between the family of mom, particularly myself, and Carrie, as it related to her drug use at the time,” the 60-year-old told Fox News.
“… But when Carrie and I got face-to-face, there was no way to have any of that. It just melted away, because the blood, the relationship between brother and sister, the bond, is so deep… She broke down and said ‘… We have to be OK with each other. It’s the foundation.’”
Carrie died in 2016 at age 60 after suffering from a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles. Their mother died just a day later at age 84 from a stroke.
STARWARS.COM – Star Wars: Episode IX will begin filming at London’s Pinewood Studios on August 1, 2018. J.J. Abrams returns to direct the final installment of the Skywalker saga. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio.
Returning cast members include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd. Joining the cast of Episode IX are Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, and Keri Russell, who will be joined by veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams, who will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian.
The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” says Abrams. “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.”
Composer John Williams, who has scored every chapter in the Star Wars saga since 1977’s A New Hope, will return to a galaxy far, far away with Episode IX.
Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Michelle Rejwan, and executive produced by Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin. The crew includes Dan Mindel (Director of Photography), Rick Carter and Kevin Jenkins (Co-Production Designers), Michael Kaplan (Costume Designer), Neal Scanlan (Creature and Droid FX), Maryann Brandon and Stefan Grube (Editors), Roger Guyett (VFX Supervisor), Tommy Gormley (1st AD), and Victoria Mahoney (2nd Unit Director).
Release is scheduled for December 2019.
HUFFINGTON POST – There’s a brief, but powerful moment in The Last Jedi where Leia, the storied Princess turned General, stands alone in a cold expanse. Behind her, in the dark, her defenses are at their weakest. Ahead, trouble quickly approaches. Despite these dire straits, Leia keeps her eyes fixed on the horizon, ready to meet what comes. Though this sequence only lasts mere seconds, the quiet intensity of the scene serving as a perfect cinematic portrait not only of the iconic character, but also of the incomparable woman who portrayed her.
I’ve been thinking about Carrie Fisher a lot lately. Naturally, the release of the new Star Wars film has contributed to this fact, but also the knowledge that this December 27th marks a full year since her passing.
Like many kids of my generation, Star Wars was always sort of pop culturally omnipresent in my life. As is the nature of such zeitgeist behemoths, it was almost impossible to not be held in its thrall: I remember clutching my Ewok stuffed animal tight while watch the original movies on VHS and recall getting swept up in the fever pitch leading up to the release of the prequels. Even if tangentially, there’s something magical about bearing witness to a piece of storytelling that has touched so many lives. And, as someone who has since devoted his own life to storytelling, it’s a phenomenon I cannot help but admire.
That being said, in comparison to the far more dedicated members of the fandom, I would definitely consider myself a casual participant in the world of Star Wars. For no better reason than often the interference of life, my attention to the franchise has occasionally waned here and there over the years, though I have never forgotten my appreciation for its innate magic. However, the one thing that has never waned is my appreciation for the galaxy’s grand dame: Carrie Fisher.
Like many, my first introduction to Carrie Fisher was as Princess Leia. I always liked this rebel rouser who, even while the men were attempting to mount a rescue mission, would invariably rescue herself. As a little boy who grew up with the male-driven media of my generation, Leia broke the mold of merely being a damsel in distress. She took charge, she fought back, she stood defiant. In a galaxy that didn’t necessarily believe in her or her form of rebellion, she believed in herself.
…and though I didn’t realize it at the time, as a little queer kid growing up in small town America, she was exactly what I, and so many others, needed to see.
Granted, Leia’s agency notwithstanding, it was actually Fisher’s life beyond the galaxy far, far away that left the most profound impact on me. I’ve been an avid reader most of my life, and when I was in high school, I picked up a copy of Fisher’s Postcards from the Edge at a bookstore by happenstance. I had heard of the movie, but honestly may not have even thought to get the book had it not been on sale. Luckily, being a broke student led to me discovering something that, in a way, changed my life.
Within the pages of Postcards was a tale, not of space, but of the intricacies of humanity. Of the tragic flaws that exist within all of us, the cracks in our relationships, and the struggles to overcome the darkness we create for ourselves. It was a raw, honest work.
…and it was also funny as hell.
US WEEKLY – Sometimes, there’s no clear divide between good and evil. As Daisy Ridley’s Rey comes into her powers in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, she begins to question where her allegiance lies.
“From the start, Star Wars has always had the good guy confronting the extent to which the bad guy is a reflection of themselves,” writer-director Rian Johnson tells Us. “With Luke, he thinks Darth Vader is an evil guy who he has to kill. Then he realizes this person is apart of him.”
And Rey is dealing with an added struggle: She can’t find herself until she finds her family. Though she thought she had a glimmer of hope in Han Solo (Harrison Ford), “that was violently taken away,” says Johnson. “She’s still searching for her place in all this. She thinks figuring out who her parents are will help define her in this story.”
ET ONLINE – Carrie Fisher continues to be remembered by fans, friends, and family.
The late actress’ brother, Todd Fisher, helped honor her memory at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on Thursday, just hours before Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released in theaters.
Fisher received a plaque at the historic Hollywood institution that read “Dedicated to Carrie by the TCL Chinese Theatre, her Star Wars home since 1977. ‘We love you Carrie.'”
‘Dedicated to Carrie by the TCL Chinese Theatre, her Star Wars home since 1977 “We love you Carrie.”’#CarrieFisher #PrincessLeila #TCLChineseTheatres #ToddFisher #StarWars #TheLastJedi pic.twitter.com/xTQy9GwgLf
— TCL Chinese Theatres (@ChineseTheatres) December 14, 2017
EW – Things got hot and heavy between Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher while the two were shooting the first Star Wars movie, which was released in 1977.
During an interview with The Guardian, the 66-year-old revealed that although he “knew from previous jobs” that getting romantically involved with a coworker was a bad idea, “Carrie and I were instantly attracted to each other.”
“I remember one time – I’m sure alcohol was involved – we were talking about kissing techniques. I said: ‘Well, I think I’m a fairly good kisser. I like to let the women come to me rather than be aggressive.’ And she said: ‘What do you mean?’ Well, next thing you know we’re making out like teenagers!” he said.
“We were all over each other!” he added, before seemingly revealing that there was a limit to how far their relationship went.
“The one thing that drew Carrie and me back from the precipice was we kind of became aware of what we were doing and just burst out laughing. Which was unfortunate for me because the rocket launch sequence had been initiated,” he continued.
NY TIMES – “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”
Even as a jittery, tiny projection, Princess Leia is a commanding presence. She’s one of the most powerful figures in her galaxy — and one of the most iconic characters in our galaxy. This is how she went from secret baby to General Organa. (Many Bothans died to bring us this information.)
- Padmé Amidala, the former queen and senator and the wife of Anakin Skywalker, dies in childbirth, but not before naming her twins Luke and Leia. (How could she die during childbirth in a galaxy that has mastered hyperspace travel? Who knows.) Padmé and Anakin’s daughter is adopted by Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan and his wife, Queen Breha. Luke is sent to the desert planet Tatooine.
- Sixteen years later, like many teenagers, Leia becomes curious about her parents. As detailed in the novel “Leia: Princess of Alderaan,” she inadvertently discovers that her father, her mother and their friend Mon Mothma are deeply involved in the budding rebellion against the Galactic Empire.
- Leia joins the group that will become the Rebel Alliance.
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE Carrie Fisher, child of Hollywood, grew up fast. This was a mixed blessing for her, but a good thing for “Star Wars.”
Fisher was 19 when she first played Rebel Alliance leader Leia Organa in “A New Hope” — a role she would reprise for the final time in “The Last Jedi,” filmed before her death at age 60 in December 2016 and opening Friday (Dec. 15).
She did not seem teenage on screen. Her smoky voice and show-business-bred poise lent her authority. She was crisp where so many 1970s actresses were languorous. (Leia’s infrastructure-heavy hairdos helped).
In Leia’s verbal interplay with Han Solo (Harrison Ford), one could see glints of 1930s movie serials in which “Wars” was rooted and also Rosalind Russell’s and Katharine Hepburn’s 1940s workplace comedy characters. Leia never was as funny as those characters, but she could be as brisk and self-possessed.
Old Hollywood was never too far from Fisher, daughter of actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher. Reynolds had caught the tail end of cinema’s golden age, and never got over it. As we saw in “Bright Lights” — the HBO documentary that aired just after Fisher died (of sleep apnea, with traces of heroin, cocaine and Ecstasy in her system) and Reynolds died a day later, from a stroke — Reynolds was an avid student of show business. And Fisher was a dedicated student of her mother.