Star Wars fans were taken aback when it was announced on Friday, July 27th that Carrie Fisher would have a role in Episode IX using old footage. The fate of Fisher's character, Princess Leia Organa, was left uncertain after Fisher's unexpected death at the end of 2016.
Co-star Mark Hamill, who has portrayed Luke Skywalker since the franchise's inception, and who was very close with Fisher off-set, has spoken out about facing this new (and likely final) Star Wars chapter without her. They began working together in 1977 on the first installment.
It's bittersweet facing my final chapter without her-She is simply irreplaceable. I'm finding solace in the fact that she won't BE replaced & would love the worldwide outpouring of affection from those who loved her when they heard the news.#CarrieOnForever pic.twitter.com/7ueMqBxQwa— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) July 29, 2018
#CarrieOnForever. Oh, my heart.
Fisher's portrayal of Leia was not only iconic, but she broke boundaries for the way female characters were written in the sci-fi and fantasy genres by proving she was capable of fighting on her own.
She was my hero as a little girl! The princess that didn't always need saving. She makes my other favorite movie! "I promise you I will never want that wagon wheel coffee table."— Lala 💎🎧 (@snowflake1138) July 29, 2018
And General Organa in 2018 is still breaking boundaries. The character is a survivor.
Some turned to the wisdom of Star Wars itself for comfort.
According to CNN, the cast of Episode IX also brings back Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian. Hamill will return as Luke Skywalker, alongside cast members Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Kelly Marie Tran.
Some newcomers will also be joining the team: