Lucasfilm has just released a statement concerning Carrie Fisher’s digital recreation in future Star Wars films.
“We don’t normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumor circulating that we would like to address. We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa,” said Lucasfilm in a statement on starwars.com
“Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to Star Wars.”
The British programme ‘BBC Newsnight’ aired last night, with a focus on CG characters in film, and how they are produced. The show especially delved into the work done in the recently released Rogue One, which obviously led to talk of whether Carrie Fisher might reprise her role posthumously in Star Wars Episode IX, as a completely CG creation this time.
The video is only available in the UK, with the subject of Fisher emerging at the 30-minute mark. If you live outside of the UK or can’t access it for another reason, this was the reference to Disney already being in talks with Fisher’s estate:
“And if what might be regarded as unseemly haste, Disney is negotiating with the actor’s estate over her continued appearance in the franchise. If Disney gets the go-ahead, Carrie Fisher will join Peter Cushing…”
Questions of whether is it ethically right to digitally recreate an actor and the bulk of their performance in TV and film have already been raised, mostly with the release of the hugely successful Star Wars prequel, Rogue One, and one of its lead characters, Peter Cushing. Cushing died in 1994, but was animated in the 2016 film via motion capture technology and CGI. Carrie Fisher, who passed away a few weeks ago, might have a significant part to play in Episode IX (which has yet to begin filming) should they decide to take this route. Director of Episode IX, Colin Trevorrow, had previously hinted at Fisher’s Leia having a larger role, indicating massive rewrites if they don’t. There seems to be no clear answer as to how to pay proper respect to Fisher herself, as well as giving the story of the character of Leia decent closure.
It is evident that if Disney and Fisher’s estate come to some kind of agreement, the folks at ILM will have their work cut out for them in producing a likeness of the character that will equal the original performance of the Princess and General.