Despite the late actress’ brother Todd Fisher’s suggestion that Carrie would be a part of the franchise’s ninth installment, Kennedy told ABC News on Friday, April 14, that the beloved star’s last appearance as Princess Leia will be in The Last Jedi.
"We finished everything in VIII, and Carrie is absolutely phenomenal in the movie, and we're so lucky that we were able to complete shooting in the summer. Unfortunately, Carrie passed away by the time we were well underway with Episode IX in our thoughts. We had not written the script yet. But we've regrouped. We started over again in January," Kennedy explained to the outlet. "So sadly, Carrie will not be in IX."
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However, she did say that "we'll see a lot of [Carrie] in VIII."
Kennedy’s clarification comes just days after Todd, 59, told the New York Daily News that he and his niece, Billie Lourd, gave Lucasfilm permission to use Carrie’s likeness in Episode IX. "Both of us were like, 'Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don’t," he told the newspaper. “She’s as much a part of it as anything and I think her presence now is even more powerful than it was, like Obi-Wan — when the saber cuts him down he becomes more powerful. I feel like that’s what’s happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue. I’m not the only part in that equation, but I think the people deserve to have her. She’s owned by them.”
In response, Kennedy told ABC News that Todd “was probably confused.”
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As previously reported, Carrie died on December 27 at age 60 after suffering cardiac arrest earlier that week. Not long after she passed away, Lucasfilm released a statement, saying that the company had “no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa” in Episode IX.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15, 2017, and Episode IX is due in 2019.