Lucasfilm announced Friday that Star Wars: Episode IX would include unused footage of Carrie Fisher from The Force Awakens, and the ensuing response from fans prompted a heartfelt response from some of the cast.
For months, Mark Hamill teased the possibility that he would return to Episode IX after Luke Skywalker’s death in The Force Awakens, and the Episode IX casting announcement confirmed it. But posting to Twitter Sunday, Hamill spoke specifically of his longtime co-star and friend. Like many fans, he still misses Fisher, but he was touched by the fan response after learning that fans would get to see Leia Organa one last time.
It's bittersweet facing my final chapter without her-She is simply irreplaceable. I'm finding solace in the fact that she won't BE replaced & would love the worldwide outpouring of affection from those who loved her when they heard the news.#CarrieOnForever pic.twitter.com/7ueMqBxQwa— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) July 29, 2018
John Boyega joined in on that sentiment, adding “We will get through it dad.”
News that footage of Fisher would be included in Episode IX arrived after much speculation of whether the character would appear in the film at all—and if so, whether it would digitally recreate Leia Organa. (Lucasfilm shot that rumor down in 2017.) Episode IX director J.J. Abrams noting that Fisher could never truly be replaced with a recast or CG; the footage of Fisher is being included with permission from Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd, who is among the announced Episode IX cast.
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” Abrams said in a statement released Friday. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”