Carrie Fisher’s death was a great tragedy for her family, friends, and “Star Wars” fandom. But, as Yahoo News suggests, her demise presents the “Star Wars” franchise with a major headache. What to do with Princess Leia?

Fortunately, Fisher’s scenes for the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VIII” are already in the can. The character will reportedly have an expanded, heroic role in the long series first started by George Lucas during the 1970s.

But the character also has a significant role in “Star Wars: Episode IX” the final movie in the main series, due to come out in 2019.

Advertisement

What to do about the fact that the actress who played Princess Leia is no longer among the living?

The problem is that Lucasfilm has options, thanks to the advance of technology.

The first and perhaps safest option when one considers legalities and good taste would be to write Princess Leia out of the movie, likely by giving her a heroic death off screen. This approach is the solution that is most often followed by episodic TV when an actor dies.

The second possibility is to cast a new actress in the role of Princess Leia.

Recasting was the solution that was arrived at in the “Harry Potter” series when Richard Harris, who played Professor Dumbledore in the first two Movies, died and had to be replaced by Michael Gambon. The problem with this solution is that Carrie Fisher is heavily identified with the role of Princess Leia. Another actress would be looked upon with suspicion.

The final possibility is to recast Princess Leia but digitally change her image into that of Carrie Fisher. The method was used to bring back the Grand Moff Tarkin in “Rogue One” even though the actor who played him, Peter Cushing, died in 1994.

Advertisement

This approach has the greatest potential to alienate fans by reanimating a dead woman who was much beloved when she was alive. California law might also present an impediment if Carrie Fisher’s family objects, which it might.

So there you have it. Kill off, recast, or digitally reanimate. Each option is fraught with peril.