Scenes in the next “Star Wars” film shot with the late actress Carrie Fisher will remain in the movie unchanged, and the plot won’t be modified to deal with Fisher’s death, revealed Disney CEO Bob Iger.
“She’s in [Episode] VIII, and we’re not changing VIII to deal with her passing,” Iger said Thursday at a conference at the University of Southern California. “Her performance, which we’ve been really pleased with, remains as it was.”
When “we bought Lucasfilm, we were going to make three films — Episodes VII, VIII and IX,” said Iger. “We had to deal with tragedy at the end of 2016.”
Fisher, who died of a heart attack at the age of 60 in December, appears “throughout” the upcoming film, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Iger said, according to the Los Angeles Times. Fisher had completed filming when she suffered the heart attack during a flight from London to Los Angeles.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is scheduled to be released Dec. 15.
Devoted “Star Wars” fans were concerned that Fisher’s scenes would have to be cut — or that she would appear via a digital recreation, as Disney did for her cameo in last year’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” and for the character Grand Moff Tarkin, played by the late Peter Cushing.
In “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015) Princess Leia had become a general and head of the resistance fighting the menacing First Order. She had a son with Han Solo named Ben, who joined the dark side under his new moniker Kylo Ren.
Disney shareholders were treated to scenes of the next film at their annual meeting earlier this month. One scene flashed an image of a grim-faced Fisher in her role as General Leia Organa. Her scenes reportedly include a confrontation with her son, played by Adam Driver, and a reunion with Luke Skywalker, still played by Mark Hamill.
Iger also dropped some hints about the upcoming Han Solo film, which stars Alden Ehrenreich as a younger version of the character Harrison Ford brought to life. It follows Han from the ages of 18 to 24 when he acquired his Millennium Falcon craft and his steadfast pal Chewbacca. The film is due out in 2018.
Iger spoke about Fisher and the ongoing “Star Wars” plans in an interview with his wife, Willow Bay, who was recently named dean of USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, noted the Hollywood Reporter.
Disney is now discussing what to do after Episode IX , said Iger, who talked of the possibility of “another decade and a half” of “Star Wars” films.
“It’s kind of mind-blowing to spend an afternoon with the creative team talking about that,” he said. “I mean, where could you go, or where should we go?” Then he answered his own question: “A galaxy far, far away.”
A public memorial will be held for the mother and daughter this Saturday afternoon at Forest Lawn’s 1,200-seat theater in Hollywood Hills.