Carrie Fisher's Dec. 27 death has left a disturbance in the Force. Her iconic Princess Leia is set to appear in the next two Star Wars films, and insiders tell The Hollywood Reporter that at least two key scenes are planned for Episode VIII (Dec. 15) and Episode IX (2019): a Leia reunion with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and a confrontation with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), her son who killed Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 2015's The Force Awakens.
Details of where those scenes fit into the movies remain unclear, but insiders say Leia was to have been a bigger part of Episode IX than VIII. Episode VIII director Rian Johnson has finished shooting, but Episode IX doesn't have a start date; both Force Awakens and Episode VIII began production at the beginning of a year so it is very likely that Episode IX will begin shooting in early 2018 for a December 2019 release. And the status of its script, being written by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, is unknown. (Disney won't comment.)
Trevorrow, the filmmaker behind Jurassic World who is directing Episode IX, is due to arrive in L.A. the week of Jan. 10 for meetings with Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy to discuss options. But unlike in other cases where actors died during the filmmaking process — Paul Walker in Furious 7 comes to mind — it appears that the team has time to explore solutions.