When Carrie Fisher passed away in 2016, it was a blow to all of pop culture. In addition to her iconic work in Star Wars as Princess Leia Organa, Fisher was an accomplished screenplay writer, novelist, memoirist, playwright, and script doctor (it’s pretty much due to her that Hook is at all watchable). Her return as Leia in 2015’s The Force Awakens was one of the highlights of the first two films in the Star Wars revival films, which made her death before its conclusion all that much more traffic. However, according to our trusted and proven sources, Lucasfilm is planning on bringing Carrie Fisher back to cinematic life once more through the necromancy of CGI.
We are told the plan is to add a CGI version of Carrie Fisher into an upcoming Star Wars series. The first question then becomes: which? The increasing success of the Disney+ streaming platform to introduce new content to Star Wars fans (and Marvel fans) seems to be pushing Lucasfilm and parent company Disney into throwing their muscle behind developing shows at least as rapid a pace as movies.
Currently, Lucasfilm has confirmed a number of different upcoming series, some of which could fit in a Carrie Fisher cameo or supporting role easier than others. The timeline of Obi-Wan Kenobi would necessitate Leia being a small child (and it’s about to be released), so that’s likely out. Carrie Fisher could pop up in either the third season of The Mandalorian or in Ahsoka, as both of those take place in a post-Return of the Jedi, pre-Force Awakens time period.
Theoretically, Carrie Fisher could also appear in the Diego Luna series Andor, set five years before Rogue One (in which we already got a notorious Leia appearance). Rangers of the New Republic has had enough problems to deal with after the ousting of presumed star Gina Carano, so who knows whether Lucasfilm would attempt to toss a Carrie Fisher appearance in there.
And that is the other aspect of a plan to introduce a CGI version of Carrie Fisher to a series. Aside from the moral and existential quandaries of digitally resurrecting an actor (reportedly Fisher’s family made a deal with Disney to allow her digital likeness to appear in Rise of Skywalker, but who knows where that is at), the actual mechanics of rendering the very famous youthful appearance of an actor is still a work in process.
The Carrie Fisher/CGI hybrid Princess Leia that appeared in the final moments of Rogue One left audiences and critics largely unimpressed (and a bit creeped out), as did its CGI version of Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin. The version that appeared near the end of Rise of Skywalker was (supposedly) not done with CGI, but via the usage of visual and audio clips from previous movies and Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd as a physical stand-in.
The best we could probably hope for with a CGI Carrie Fisher would be something similar to her cinematic brother Luke Skywalker’s appearance in recent Disney+ shows. But those were made with the still-living Mark Hamill’s cooperation, so we will just have to wait and see how it turns out for this risky manuever.