Star Wars: Petitioning for a New Leia

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in

Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”. Photo Credit to starwars.com

Nicholas Silva, Layout Editor

Princess Leia was one of the first characters to grace what was to be one of the greatest movies of all time; “Star Wars: A New Hope”. The independent, no-nonsense princess was portrayed by Carrie Fisher, a role which the actress reprised for the final two movies of the Original Trilogy and the first two movies of the Sequel Trilogy, “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi”.

However, Fisher tragically died on December 27, 2016 at the age of sixty. At that time, she had filmed her scenes for “The Last Jedi”. In 2016’s “Rouge One: A Star Wars Story” we have a brief clip of a CGI-ed Leia for the transition between that movie and “A New Hope”.

Following Fisher’s death, fans began to wonder what Leia’s fate would be. Some people thought that she would be written off in “The Last Jedi”, however they decided not to. That leaves the options of another CGI Leia –which the producers adamantly refused, putting in an off-screen death and briefly talking about it or -as fans are now proposing- having Meryl Streep play the beloved princess.

A Care2 petition user known as Chill M. proposed that the actress, nominated for twenty Oscars and who has taken home three, play Leia in the currently untitled “Episode IX”. The proposition has drawn mixed responses, with some thinking that it is great, and others thinking it is the worst idea ever. The petition has drawn 9,194 out of 10,000 supporters as of the time of writing.

In support of the idea, the petition states that “in POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE, written by Carrie Fisher and based on her semi-autobiographical novel, Meryl Streep played Suzanne Vale, who is believed to be based on Carrie Fisher herself.” The petition goes on to say that the performance shows her ability to embody the actress, and that it qualifies her to play Leia. Indeed, there are even some similarities in appearance between the two, who had been longtime friends. With a little bit of makeup and perhaps some minor CGI, she could give a great performance especially if only filming a short or indirect scene, such as Leia’s death.

However, the opposition has taken to the petition’s comments, and Twitter, criticizing the idea. One commentator said that “you don’t recast that role. Ever.” This is a sentiment shared by many, such as another person who commented that, “Carrie Fisher is “Princess Leia” and there will be no one who can replace her.”

In the end, though, all talk seems to have been quashed. The producers have reported that the script has been rewritten following her death, and as the film is soon to begin production, it is unlikely that it will be revised again. There is always the possibility, though, especially since Leia was supposed to have a prevalent role in the next movie, according to co-star Mark Hamill. Whatever the case, may the force be with Carrie Fisher, and perhaps, with Meryl Streep.