Kennedy told Vanity Fair that Fisher, who died in December at
age 60 after suffering a heart attack, had finished filming the
forthcoming eighth film "The Last Jedi" and was hoping her
character, General Leia Organa, would be the central figure of
"The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better
be at the forefront of IX!’ because Harrison(Ford) was front and
center on VII, and Mark (Hamill) is front and center on VIII.
She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been,"
Fisher rose to fame as Princess Leia in the original "Star Wars"
franchise from 1977 to 1983, alongside Ford's roguish Han Solo
and Hamill's Jedi fighter Luke Skywalker.
Ford bowed out of the series as his character was killed off in
2015's "The Force Awakens," that rebooted the "Star Wars"
franchise with a new trilogy of films from Walt Disney Co.
While details of "The Last Jedi," due out on Dec. 15, have been
kept secret, Vanity Fair said Fisher's role in the film was not
affected by her death, other than making it "more poignant: the
film farewell of both the actress and the character."
The yet-to-be-titled ninth film, due out in May 2019, has been
reworked by Kennedy, director Colin Trevorrow and the Lucasfilm
team, Vanity Fair said, and is due to start filming next year.
Lucasfilm said earlier this year that it would not digitally
recreate Fisher's likeness in future films.
Vanity Fair's feature celebrating the franchise's 40th
anniversary, revealed details about new characters in "The Last
Jedi" played by Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro and newcomer Kelly
Marie Tran. It also provided tidbits from the set, such as a
reported competition between Hamill and Fisher to see who could
reach a million Twitter followers first.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Marla Dickerson)
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