The sad death of actress Carrie Fisher at the age of 60 has sparked an outpouring of grief from those whose lives she touched. Away from the screen, Fisher possessed a razor-sharp wit and even sharper intelligence, inspiring millions by openly discussing mental illness and female empowerment. On the screen, she was beloved for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the Star Wars saga.
In fact, Fisher's performance resulted in one of the few disappointments of the original trilogy — she was criminally underused as the feisty, resilient and quick-thinking agent of the Rebel Alliance, adding an abundance of effortless charm to every scene she was involved in across A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983).
Consequently, fans were delighted that #CarrieFisher returned for last year's reboot, The Force Awakens, by then commonly known as General Leia Organa, the leader of the Resistance, and as it is revealed, also the mother of newly introduced antagonist, #KyloRen (Adam Driver).
Princess Leia Has A Bigger Role In 'Star Wars 8'
Following the death of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) — with whom she was reunited after a 32-year absence — #PrincessLeia's role in #StarWars8 looked set to only increase. Deadline report that they believe Fisher does have a bigger role in the next installment, having already wrapped on filming her scenes, which follows speculation in September that Fisher's involvement in reshoots for the film were because of added screentime.
Fisher's daughter, Billie Lourd, will also have a larger role in Star Wars 8, reprising her role as Lieutenant Connix, a member of the Resistance working under Leia, taking control of communications between X-Wing fighters during their attack on the Starkiller Base.
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How Will The Story Unfold For General Leia?
Sadly, Fisher was expected to again return to the franchise for Star Wars 9, following her increased role in Star Wars 8. As the leader of the Resistance, Leia would presumably become even more determined to overthrow the First Order following Solo's death at the hands of Kylo Ren, an event made even more poignant after Leia asked Solo to bring their son home during their final exchange.
Furthermore, Luke Skywalker's increased role in Star Wars 8 could also have repercussions for Leia; it's likely the pair will reunite in the battle against the Dark Side now that Luke's long-lost location has been discovered, especially as Leia and newcomer Rey (Daisey Ridley) — who is likely to be trained by Luke — appeared to form a bond during The Force Awakens.
It's too soon after Fisher's tragic death to say which direction #Lucasfilm will take the character, but for the woman who was synonymous as one of the Rebel Alliance's greatest leaders, Star Wars 8 is the chance to pay a fitting tribute to the Princess who will be forever immortalized in the hearts of fans worldwide.
How would you like Princess Leia's story to unfold in Star Wars 8?