Rumors to the contrary, Entertainment Weekly reports that LucasFilm will not resurrect Princess Leia digitally in Episode 9 of the “Star Wars” series. Through the use of computer technology, the Grand Moff Tarkin was brought back for “Rogue One” despite the fact that Peter Cushing, who played him in the original movie, has been dead for over 20 years. The young Princess Leia was also recreated. Carrie Fisher, the actress who played Princess Leia in the original trilogy and in “The Force Awakens,” died tragically at the age of 60 of a coronary event.

The advent of technology that can bring dead actors back from the dead has raised all sorts of intriguing possibilities.

Westerns starring John Wayne, films noir starring Humphry Bogart, or comedies starring Robin Williams or Richard Pryor could come back by digitally superimposing the image and mannerisms of the dead actor over a living one. The dialogue voices could be tweaked to sound like the dead star. One can even have players of different generations in the same movie. Cary Grant could romance Scarlet Johannsen. Daniel Craig could match wits with Donald Pleasance (aka Blofeld.)

Rumor has it that A-list actors are already getting clauses in their contracts concerning rights to their likenesses after they die. Some no doubt will go for it, the theory being that the more rights money, the better. Some might balk because of the ick factor.

The latter seems to be the reason Carrie Fisher will not be appearing, post mortem, in Episode 9.

Her death was too soon and too tragic to contemplate bringing her back. To be sure, all of her scenes in Episode 8 have been shot, so we shall be able to see Princess Leia, aged but still spry, help face down the new threat to the galaxy far far away. How the absence of the actress will be handled in the subsequent movie remains to be seen, as the character is said to have a significant role in the story.

Hiring another actor to play the character may be a possibility. On the other hand, LucasFilm might just decide to give Leia a heroic death to end her career instead.

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