Star Wars Episode IX director addresses loss of Carrie Fisher

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Sep 25, 2019, 12:51 PM EDT (Updated)

Colin Trevorrow has spoken for the first time publicly about making the next Star Wars movie without our beloved General Leia.

In an interview with CinemaBlend to discuss his upcoming film The Book of Henry, Trevorrow was asked about the development of Star Wars Episode IX -- which he is directing next -- in the wake of Carrie Fisher's tragic passing last December:

"She was a major character, that's not a secret. She really was. And it was extremely sad for all of us, mostly just because she was so loved by the Star Wars family and everyone that worked with her. I feel like our options are limited mostly by ourselves, in that there is only certain things that we are willing to do. But I can guarantee it will be handled with love and respect, and all of the soul that Carrie Fisher deserves."

Trevorrow is currently writing the script for Episode IX and admitted that while it was hard to "identify a percentage," the screenplay did indeed have to be altered to accommodate the sad reality that Fisher was gone.

Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy recently told Vanity Fair (via Slashfilm) that while Leia plays a larger part in the upcoming Star Wars - Episode VII: The Last Jedi, she would have featured even more prominently in Episode IX:

“The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ Because Harrison was front and center on VII, and Mark is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been."

We may not know just how drastically Trevorrow had to revamp the plot of Episode IX, but we have no doubt that the situation has been a difficult one. As for his comment that there are "only certain things that we are willing to do," we have to surmise that he's talking about a way to incorporate Leia into the story without the already ruled-out option of using CG to re-create Fisher's image, in the way that a young Leia and Peter Cushing's Governor Tarkin were visualized in Rogue One.

Carrie Fisher was loved by pretty much the entire world, but certainly even more so by the people who worked with her at Lucasfilm, so we're confident that whatever they end up doing with Leia in Episodes VIII and IX will be a worthy and moving send-off. She deserves nothing less.

Star Wars - Episode IX hits theaters May 24, 2019.