Confirmation that Carrie Fisher is to be a part of Star Wars Episode IX has seemingly unearthed a disturbance in the hierarchy at Lucasfilm. Previously, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy publicly announced that Carrie Fisher would not play a role in the final film of the Skywalker saga, however, Todd Fisher brother of Carrie Fisher, thought otherwise and has thanked J.J. Abrams for making it happen and that he could not be happier.
“J.J. really made this happen,” Fisher told the Hollywood Reporter.
Abrams was also happy to bring back the character Princess Leia using previously unused footage from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” said returning director J.J. Abrams.
“Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character.”
This change in creative direction is now in total contradiction to the Kathleen Kennedy’s earlier comments when being interviewed by ABC News about the future of Carrie Fisher in Episode IX.
“Sadly, Carrie will not be in IX,” Kennedy said after 2017’s Star Wars Celebration.
Kennedy continued on the explain that Todd Fisher was “probably confused because we finished everything in VIII, and Carrie is absolutely phenomenal in the movie. We’re so happy that we were able to complete shooting in the summer.”
“Unfortunately, Carrie passed away. So by the time we were well underway with Episode IX, in our thoughts, we had not written the script, but we’ve regrouped and started over again in January.”
This is a major creative departure by J.J. Abrams from what had been previously planned by Kathleen Kennedy and the Star Wars story team.
While we do need to factor in a creative change due to a change of directors from Colin Trevorrow to J.J. Abrams in late 2017 it still gives some credence to the information from the Lucasfilm sources of Grace Randolph that J.J. Abrams has been handed complete creative control over Episode IX with Kathleen Kennedy stepping back from the film production. And also fuels rumours that Kathleen Kennedy is no longer in charge at Lucasfilm and will be exiting Lucasfilm in the near future.
Can J.J. save the Skywalker saga? We will find out in December 2019.
Additional info (5/8/2018) – Starwarsnewsnet.com (SWNN) has reported that J.J. Abrams will also use extra unused footage from Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi to incorporate Princess Leia into Star Wars Episode IX.