The passing of Carrie Fisher left all of us in shock, and clearly Disney and Lucasfilm were left flat-footed. Not that you can ever prepare for something like that. Anyway, Fisher had already shot her General Leia scenes for Rian Johnson's 'Episode 8', but there were still questions left about what would happen with 'Episode 9' which she was to be a key part of. Meetings have been taking place to figure out what to do next, and the one thing we were hoping would be off the table very much is.
According to Star Wars News who caught a BBC report, Disney is already in talks with the Fisher estate about recreating her digitally for upcoming movies. Uh oh. Now, they used this technique to bring back Peter Cushing and a young Princess Leia in Rogue One, but clearly things have changed and this could be considered distasteful by some. The report allegedly says...
“And if what might be regarded as unseemly haste, Disney is negotiating with the actor’s estate over her continued appearance in the franchise. If Disney gets the go-ahead, Carrie Fisher will join Peter Cushing…"
This could all be nothing. Disney may just be dealing with Fisher's death from a legal standpoint, because obviously her character will have to be seen again in some way, even in flashback. So we shouldn't automatically assume they are planning to use a CGI likeness to keep Leia around as often as they see fit. Still, they have to do something, and there are no good options to choose from. Leia is key to the next two movies, with some rewrites and reshoots almost a certainty now. Disney runs the risk of offending a lot of people, so expect them to tread very carefully.