As we prepare in anticipation for Star Wars: The Last Jedi to be released this December fans wonder how Disney and Lucasfilm will end the legacy of Princess Leia Organa. We all want them to do something that appropriately honors her and ends her reign as leader and general in the Republic and Resistance in true Star Wars fashion. However, it turns out that this movie may not be the last Leia graces the big screen. Disney now has permission from both Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billy Lourd and her brother Todd Fisher to use previously captured footage of Leia for Star Wars Episode XI.
The End to a Legacy
Since her passing in 2016 Disney has said that Episode VIII will not change Leia’s role in the film and we are not to see a digital Leia. This means the footage they have to use will be it, no CGI Leia to fill in for the real thing. What will they do with the unused footage? At this stage, we can only speculate without seeing Episode VIII and Leia’s role at the end. To extend her role will only go so far and feel overdone if they just want to keep her around for the legacy and fans. Our princess has passed and it is time for the Resistance and Republic to move on and continue the fight.
In The Force Awakens Leia had a prominent but limited role as general and leader of the Resistance against the New Order. Her screen time was short and her part was focused on finding Luke Skywalker and keeping the Resistance together. She has been burdened further with the death of Han Solo, struck down by Leia and Han’s son Kylo Ren. Luke has been found but can Rey bring him back to the Galaxy to aid the Resistance and again fight with Leia. We will have to see what Episode VIII brings, but we do know the Resistance and Republic will continue without Leia.
At the end of The Force Awakens, the Resistance was on good footing with the younger leaders and the addition of Finn, and Poe Dameron as Black squadron leader. It wasn’t Leia who destroyed Star Killer base it was the effort of the Resistance fighters lead by Poe Dameron, Finn, Rey, and Han. Leia has led this fight since it was a fledgling rebellion to see the death of the Emperor, the beginnings of a new Republic, and then fight again to defend against a new sinister enemy. As we have seen in The Force Awakens, Leia may hold the Resistance together but it’s the new fighters and persistence to fight for freedom that drives the Republic. So in honor of Leia, a good use of the footage can be to show her heroic death fighting along our heroes to take back the galaxy from the First Order and rebuild the Republic. We lost Han trying to help his son, Leia’s passing will be okay but only if done right or as a remembrance scene. It is time after Episode VIII to move on and have new heroes to take up Leia’s mantle.
Fans will get to finish out Leia’s story through Episode XI but we must first see her to the end of Episode VIII. Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters in December and is directed by Rian Johnson.