Mark Hamill Talks About Recasting Leia in EPISODE IX

2016 was a rough year for geeks. So many pop culture icons were lost that year. For Star Wars fans, the biggest loss came in December 2016 with the passing of Carrie Fisher. Fisher was our princess, our hero, and our general. Her passing came after filming for The Last Jedi finished but before its premiere. This has left many wondering what will happen with Leia in Episode IX. We were all lead to believe that she would play an integral role in the film, but now that will most likely be different.

J.J. Abrams has a tough task ahead of him in writing Episode IX with Chris Terrio and having to figure out what to do with Leia. Kathleen Kennedy has already said that they will not digitally reconstruct Leia similar to Tarkin in Rogue One. This leaves an off-screen death with an explanation in the opening crawl or recasting Leia. Neither of those options will be very satisfying for fans.

One of the people most affected by Fisher’s passing was co-star and friend Mark Hamill. In a recent interview with Collider, Hamill was asked for his thoughts on recasting Leia:

First of all, I don’t know what the specific plans were for that character, but just the way Han Solo was more prominent in 7, Luke was more prominent in 8, we assumed that Leia would be more prominent in 9, especially since the dynamic of having Kylo Ren as her son... I think it would be tough recasting, only because she’s so indelibly linked with that character. They’ve already ruled out the idea of computer-generating her performance like they did with Peter Cushing, so, gee, that’s gotta be a really... not an insurmountable problem, but I know the script had been developed enough that when we lost her, they had to go back to square one. But she’s irreplaceable, as far as I’m concerned.

I agree. She really is irreplaceable. Although it wouldn’t be satisfying, I think it would be better for them to give her an off-screen death. The interviewer continued to ask Hamill about Episode IX and asked if he would return in some form. Here’s his answer on that:

You know, I have to phrase it correctly because I had the most amazing entrance ever in my career in 7, I had this incredible exit in 8, so I didn’t really have a beginning, middle and end, I had a beginning and an end, but it feels complete, in a way. Whatever they decide, you know, if it’s minimal or non-existent, I’m fine with 9. But it’s all up to Chris Terrio and J.J. Abrams, who are writing it right now.

I would love for Hamill to return in Episode IX as a force ghost. Maybe bring Frank Oz back for another Yoda ghost, too? Do you want Hamill to return? What should they do about Leia’s role in Episode IX? Let us know your thoughts down below.

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