Fans were devastated to hear of Carrie Fisher’s unexpected and untimely passing last year, and it raised the question of how the Star Wars franchise would handle it on screen.
While earlier this year, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said the storyline of upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi (which Fisher, as General Leia Organa, had wrapped filming for) would be “unchanged”, she also said that her part in it would have to be “rethought”.
And the question of how the team would approach writing her out remained, with some wondering if Leia’s fate would do the iconic role justice.
Now John Boyega, who plays Finn in the latest instalments, says fans needn’t worry, because General Leia Organa will always be part of the Star Wars universe – and her send-off is “amazing”.
Speaking to ABC, the Brit actor said: “This movie does her… it sends her off in a very amazing, amazing way.
“And she’s still kept alive in this franchise, that’s the beauty of it: she lives forever in a sense.”
It’s unclear whether he was speaking in a general sense about the huge impact of the Star Wars films and Fisher’s role in them, or whether he was revealing that the character of Leia Organa wouldn’t die, but it’s nice to imagine that the ass-kicking princess could still be doing her thing elsewhere in the Star Wars universe.
Previously, director Colin Trevorrow has also sought to reassure fans that the matter will be handled carefully: “She was a major character, that’s not a secret. She really was. And it was extremely sad for all of us, mostly just because she was so loved by the Star Wars family and everyone that worked with her. I feel like our options are limited mostly by ourselves, in that there are only certain things that we are willing to do.
“But I can guarantee it will be handled with love and respect, and all of the soul that Carrie Fisher deserves.”
Fisher, who was 60 at the time of her death on a flight from London to Los Angeles, was also expected to star in 2019’s Star Wars: Episode IX, the ninth film in the franchise.
A coroner’s report said “sleep apnea and other undetermined factors” contributed to Fisher’s death, as well as drug use and a heart condition. Lourd later said Fisher had “battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life”.
She said in a statement that she hoped being open about these issues would help others: “I know my mom, she'd want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles. Seek help, fight for government funding for mental health programmes.”
Image: Rex Features