Meryl Streep as Leia Organa? A Star Wars fan petition is kicking up a show of force

Contributed by
Mar 30, 2018

Faced with tragedy, some fans have taken it upon themselves to address a black hole in the Star Wars universe -- no Force ghosts required. Online fans have created a petition to replace the late General Leia Organa actress Carrie Fisher with Meryl Streep.

Sure, Streep played the not-Fisher-but-actually-Fisher in the adaptation of the actress’ semi-autobiographical novel Postcards from The Edge, but as Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and basically everyone associated with the current trilogy has said, the next movie’s story has been changed to remove Leia entirely.

That hasn’t stopped the petition -- at 7,970 of its intended 8,000 supporters as of this story's publication -- from taking shape, citing Streep’s friendship with Fisher and seeming to fall into a mindset most commonly seen with the Academy Awards: When in doubt, go for Streep.

“As the fans of Star Wars and Carrie Fisher, we really want Leia to shine in Episode IX,” the petition reads, “and we certainly do not want her to be written out of the film abruptly without a reasonable plot. Therefore, recasting Leia is a more ideal option for us and we believe that Meryl Streep is an ideal candidate to play Leia.”

It's not like this is a Sophie's Choice. There's already a widely-accepted solution to Fisher's tragic absence. Writer/director Rian Johnson has noted that the final film in the most recent trilogy was supposed to be focused on Leia, but with the uproar around the character’s CGI-ification (along with others) in Rogue One, some may argue that attempts at recasting are even worse than digital reanimation.

However, Streep’s go-to status as the play-anyone-or-anything actress doesn’t have any foul stench you could recognize. She’s got her bonafides playing plenty of real-life people, even if playing an iconic character in a sci-fi movie might not be the best move. Episode IX is more Resistance vs First Order than Kramer vs. Kramer.

Audiences can’t help but nitpick and bicker about casting for young versions of famous characters in prequels (see: Solo), and the hopes of 8,000 folks on the internet will be hard-pressed to change the strategy of the creative mogul that is Disney.