But while the fans are mourning, the filmmakers have been scrambling.
Carrie's part in The Last Jedi (above) was already completed at the time of her death, and spoiler alert — her character was meant to have a large part in the next installment as well.
Much ado was made of the possibility that
Princess General Leia would live on digitally, thanks to the use of posthumous character recreation in Rogue One and to comments from those close to the project.
But now we have definitive word from the very top. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy herself says Leia will not return in the Episode IX.
Writer-director Colin Trevorrow and co-writer Derek Connelly, along with the rest of the Lucasfilm braintrust, had to work hard to figure out how to continue the saga without one of its leaders. Kennedy told EW they threw out the story they had and "pretty much started over." No old footage will be used. No digital recreation. Leia will not be part of Episode IX.
But now at last, Kennedy says, they've found a way to explain her absence, though of course, we'll have to wait until we see how Episode VIII ends before they can share any part of it with the fans.
Are YOU happy they're letting Leia go??
[Image via YouTube.]