Though it may seem inappropriate following Carrie Fisher’s death on Tuesday, many Star Wars fans have surely been wondering how her role in the upcoming Episode VIII might be affected after she suffered a heart attack over the Christmas holiday.

Would her scenes have to be filled with a double? Would there be a digital replacement, much like we saw at the end of Rogue One?

According to Deadline, Fisher had already completed her work on Episode VIII and was working on another project. She had just wrapped filming on season three of Amazon’s Catastrophe, in which she had a recurring role. That could be why Fisher was in London, flying back to Los Angeles for the holidays when she had a heart attack.

The report by Anita Busch also states that Fisher’s Princess Leia will have a larger role in Episode VIII than she did in The Force Awakens. Additionally, her daughter Billie Lourd has a role in the film. Written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper), the next installment of the Star Wars saga is set to hit theaters roughly a year from now on Dec. 15, 2017.

Reprising her iconic role as Princess Leia in The Force Awakens, Fisher didn’t play a central part in that story, serving more as an emotional anchor for the nostalgic reunion that the film presented. Based on Deadline’s report, it sounds as if she was going to be much more active in the next movie. That makes sense, considering what happened to Han Solo and the discovery of her brother Luke Skywalker.

It was expected Fisher would also be in the subsequent Star Wars sequel, Episode IX, but that won’t be shooting for approximately another year. Directed by Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World), that film is set for a 2019 release. Given how recently these events occurred, Lucasfilm shouldn’t be expected to comment at this point on how they plan to move forward in light of Fisher’s death.


About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.