Carrie Fisher Confirmed to Appear in STAR WARS: EPISODE IX
Shortly after Carrie Fisher passed away a rumor surfaced that Lucasfilm and Disney were in talks with Fisher's estate to appear in future Star Wars films beyond Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Well, it's been confirmed by Fisher's brother, Todd FIsher, that he and Carrie's daughter Billie Lourd, have given Lucasfilm permission to use recently shot footage of the actress in director Colin Trevorrow's Star Wars: Episode IX.
Todd tells New York Daily News, "Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is, you don't." He went on to say:
"I’m not the only part in that equation, but I think the people deserve to have her. She's owned by them."
He doesn't know how big of a role that Carrie will play in Episode IX, but it was previously reported that her role in Episode IX would have been bigger than her role in The Last Jedi. You can read some possible spoiler details about certain plot points in the story here.
I have no idea what Lucasfilm and Disney are planning for Leia's role in Episode IX. We know it won't be digital, though, because Lucasfilm released a statement saying that they would not digitally recreate Leia for the film. One top of that recent report states that the estate approved "recently shot footage." I assume that means there will be footage of her that was shot for The Last Jedi that will be used in Episode IX. I can't help but think that there would have to be some kind of digital manipulation used, but there's no information on that at this time.
I think it's very thoughtful of Fisher's family to allow Lucasfilm and Disney to use footage of Carrie to help complete their story for Episode IX. They clearly understand how much she means to the fans.