In an unprecedented move, Lucasfilm has released a press release regarding he rumors that they had contacted Carrie Fisher’s family to possibly get permission to portray Leia as a CGI character in Star Wars Episode IX:
“We don’t normally respond to fan or press speculation, but there is a rumor circulating that we would like to address. We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa. Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to Star Wars.”
Fisher had completed shooting her part on Episode VIII prior to her death, but it’s been rumored that because they will be unable to properly finish Leia’s storyline in Episode IX that they may actually have to cut her role significantly in Episode VIII, which would be unfortunate. Regardless if that’s true or not, there will obviously some significant changes, and the rumored CGI Leia would have possibly made that a bit easier.
We also know that at some point in either of the two upcoming films, Leia was to have a reunion with Luke, and was to confront her son Kylo Ren, who not only made the turn to the darkside, but also killed Han Solo (spoiler, by the way). It’s possible that these scenes were shot and will be featured in Episode VIII, but if not, Episode IX will likely be a bit less satisfying, unfortunately.