It’s come to light that there’s an even more tragic element to the untimely passing of Carrie Fisher late last year. That Star Wars: Episode IX was due to be Leia’s “second act”.
Speaking to the New York Times, Mark Hamill said – “She deserved that second act. Harrison was more prominent in VII, I’m more prominent in this one (VIII), and she was meant to be more prominent in the last one. Her timing was perfect, except in this case.”
Many fans had theorised that this was always likely to be the original plan for the final episode. But perhaps accepted that it would be years, if ever, before it was revealed how the saga was originally intended to unfold before being forced into major changes through the loss of Fisher. Hamill’s comments though are the first real confirmation that she was certainly due to play a major part.
Having loved The Force Awakens, one of my overriding thoughts was that I wished the three original stars had shared a scene together. It would have been a monumental moment, and it always confused me that it didn’t happen.
Hamills comments do answer this niggle somewhat. It seems the new trilogy was giving each key player from the original their own movie, their second act. Episode IX would have given Carrie Fisher her time to shine. Instead, the project is still feeling the impact of her loss, as director Colin Trevorrow has departed and J.J Abrams has returned. The script process is also starting over. In truth the final version of Star Wars: Episode IX may be unrecognisable to the original vision.
Carrie Fisher and Leia truly deserved the send off that it seems was planned, and knowing that she, and us, have been denied this is a difficult pill to swallow. Star Wars: The Last Jedi then, will be her swan song, and on 15th December we’ll see if it’s a fitting tribute, that does justice to our princess.