The family of Carrie Fisher has granted permission to Lucasfilm to use recent footage of the late actress in "Star Wars: Episode IX."
Famed for her role as Princess Leia in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, Fisher returned to the character for 2015's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." However, she passed away in December at age 60, shortly after completing her scenes for the sequel "The Last Jedi." Rumors later circulated that Lucasfilm intended to use a CG recreation of Fisher for the 2019's "Star Wars: Episode IX," something the studio swiftly denied.
But on Thursday her brother Todd Fisher told the New York Daily News that he and her daughter Billie Lourd have given Lucasfilm and Disney the rights to use recently recorded footage of Fisher in the sequel. No CGI will be used.
“Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don't,” Todd Fisher told the newspaper. “She’s as much a part of it as anything and I think her presence now is even more powerful than it was, like Obi Wan — when the saber cuts him down he becomes more powerful. I feel like that's what's happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue.”
The extent of Fisher's role in the storyline of "Episode IX" is unknown, with her brother saying, “I’m not the only part in that equation, but I think the people deserve to have her. She's owned by them.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger said last month that the story of "The Last Jedi" isn't being changed to address Fisher's death. "Her performance remains as it is in VIII," he said. "In ‘Rogue One,’ we had some digital character. We are not doing that with Carrie.”
Fisher and her "Star Wars" co-star Mark Hamill will be among those honored in July as Disney Legends, a hall of fame program that recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to The Walt Disney Company.
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" stars returning cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie and Andy Serkis, joined by franchise newcomers Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran. The film opens Dec. 15.