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?
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.
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.
POST GAZETTE — Carrie Fisher may have been the “madcap Auntie Mame” to Mark Hamill’s “square” homebody, but despite their differences, the Star Wars siblings got along famously right until the end.
While both skyrocketed to celebrity with their Star Wars roles in 1977 and remained inextricably linked through their on-screen family, Mr. Hamill says he missed a lot of Fisher’s life — during “the Bryan Lourd years” and when her daughter Billie Lourd was an infant. That’s why, even before her untimely death last year, he felt especially grateful to just get to spend time with his friend during the filming of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
“I’d see her periodically during charity events or when there were Star Wars celebrations and so forth. But this was the first time where we could really hang and enjoy each other. Even if I wasn’t shooting I was coming in for stunt training and this or that, hair tests, coming into her trailer and hanging out with her and [her dog] Gary,” Mr. Hamill said. “There was a comfort level we’d developed over all these years. She knew me. She knew I hadn’t really changed. She knew I wasn’t out to get something.”
Fisher was apparently beloved by all in the cast, both for who she was and what the character of Leia meant to them. Her death at age 60 came after filming had finished and deep into post-production, but it presented a bit of a conundrum for the filmmakers who had anticipated Leia being part of the next film, too.
ABC NEWS – It’s been almost a year since the “Star Wars” community lost Carrie Fisher at 60 years old.
But with Fisher reprising her role as Leia one last time in the upcoming “The Last Jedi,” cast, crew and fans will get a final chance to enjoy Fisher’s legendary portrayal of the no nonsense, kick butt princess turned general.
No one is more excited to see Fisher back on screen than her “space twin,” Mark Hamill, who once again plays Leia’s brother and Jedi master Luke Skywalker in the highly-anticipated blockbuster.
Hamill, 66, spoke about his fond memories of his dear friend on a recent visit to the set of “Popcorn With Peter Travers.” He also recalled the last prank she pulled on him before she died on Dec. 27, 2016.
“We were sort of in an unofficial contest to get to 1 million Twitter followers first,” he explained of their competition from summer 2016. “She was 63,000 ahead of me … I said, ‘Game on girl!'”
As of now, Hamill has more than 2 million followers and Fisher posthumously has 1.19 million. Hamill, who was trailing in the beginning, said he started pulling these ridiculous stunts like offering up exclusive “Star Wars” clips to gain followers and catch up to Fisher.