Carrie Fisher footage cleared for Star Wars: Episode IX

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Apr 7, 2017, 10:50 PM EDT

Since Carrie Fisher's untimely death late last year, many of us have had a very hard time picturing what the vast Star Wars universe would look like without Princess Leia's royal presence. Fortunately, we won't have to find out for a while, as Fisher's family has given Lucasfilm permission to use previously shot footage for Episode IX.

Back in January, Lucasfilm took the rare step of responding to rumors by assuring fans there'd be no digitally re-creating Princess or General Leia Organa in future films. Still, that left us wondering how Leia's character arc would play out. We knew Fisher had wrapped most of her Episode VIII scenes before passing, but where did that leave her in Episode IX, which isn't slated for release until 2019? We surmised then that they'd likely have to write Leia out of the film, hopefully ceremoniously so.

Well, it turns out that's not the case, as Fisher's brother and daughter have given permission to Disney and Lucasfilm to use recent footage in the 2019 installment being directed by Colin Trevorrow. Todd Fisher told The New York Daily News that he and Carrie's daughter, Billie Lourd, were asked by Disney to use the footage, and that they said yes, with the understanding that CGI will not be used to re-create Leia.

“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," said Mr. Fisher. "I feel like that's what's happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue.”

And it appears it will. In what capacity, though, we know not, as Mr. Fisher hasn't been clued into just how big of a part Leia will play. He was attending the the TCM Film Festival's opening night gala in L.A. when the Daily News caught up with him. It's likely been a tough stretch, since losing his sister and mother, Debbie Reynolds, back in December. But it sounds like he's very hopeful, not just about Leia's Star Wars future but about Carrie's. He says that before her death, the siblings had been working on a number of stories together, and now he's determined to bring those to light.