Last night, Disney and Lucasfilm made an official announcement that Carrie Fisher’s likeness will not be digitally recreated for Star Wars: Episode IX. They do not mention a new actor coming into play the iconic role of Princess Leia, which is unlikely to happen with the older version of the character. Many fans are now speculating that General Leia Organa‘s death will eventually redeem Kylo Ren, as he resumes his birth name of Ben Organa. This comes after the the Knight of Ren is gravely injured in a style similar to what happened to his grandfather Anakin Skywalker. Of a course, this all sounds like a slight flight of fancy pieced together from various rumors. But some of it does make sense.
As of now, no plot details have been announced for Star Wars 8 or Star Wars 9. Though, following Carrie Fisher‘s death, it was confirmed that General Leia Organa does have a bigger role in Episode 8, one that was supposed to expand in Episode 9. And it has been confirmed that there are two very important key scenes featuring Leia. The first of which is a reunion between the former Princess and her twin brother, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. We know from a set photo shared by co-star Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), that at least part of the Leia and Luke reunion has already been shot. Though, some speculate that this scene is only teased at the end of Star Wars 8, and could be cut from the movie.
The second key scene involves a meeting between son and mother, as Kylo Ren and Leia have a very intense one-on-one. It isn’t known if this scene was shot yet, or if it happens in Star Wars 8, or whether it was planned for Star Wars 9. With no digital Leia, many fans are assuming that Leia will be killed off in one of the two movies. And now rumors are starting to spread that Leia’s death will be the catalyst that causes Kylo Ren to escape the Sith and return to the light side of the Force.
This won’t come before Kylo Ren is gravely injured, though, in a manner befitting Darth Vader himself. Ren is obsessed with Vader, and it’s being rumored that Kylo will also lose all of his limbs and be required to wear a suit that is very similar to Darth Vader’s armor. This is said to happen in Star Wars 8, with the full transformation to the dark side coming in Star Wars 9. There are persistent rumors that Kylo Ren tracks Rey to Ahch-To, where they have a lightsaber rematch while Luke Skywalker single handedly takes on the Knights of Ren. This isn’t the climax, but Adam Driver, who plays Ren, is adding fuel to the fire that he doesn’t walk away from his latest confrontation with Rey unscathed.
At the very least, the events of Star Wars 8 are going to leave quite the toll on Kylo Ren. And it sounds like he’ll barely survive the movie. During an interview with Larry King, Driver was asked if he’ll be alive by the time credits roll on Star Wars 8. We’d all assume that yes, he will be. Adam’s response was interesting to say the least.
“Depends on what your idea of living is…”
That quote can be read a lot of different ways. But fans are taking it to mean that there is a world of suffering awaiting the Sith apprentice to Snoke. At this time, director Colin Trevorrow is having to go back to the drawing board, and rescript Star Wars 9 to work around the untimely passing of actress Carrie Fisher. J.J. Abrams has long said that the Force Awakens is not just about a hero but also about a villain’s origin. Many have always suspected that Rey may be the true villain, though, while Ben Organa is redeemed as the true hero. Says Abrams.
“Long before we had this title, the idea of The Force Awakens was that this would become the evolution of not just a hero, but a villain. And not a villain who was the finished, ready-made villain, but someone who was in process.”
Adam Driver’s quote plays into a key aspect of this, that Kylo Ren will reach a low point in his evolution during Star Wars 8. And his only hope is to be redeemed in Star Wars 9. Some truly believe that Leia’s death will be the catalyst for this happening. The big question now is how do the team behind this trilogy write-off Leia in a way that satisfies fans while respecting Leia as a character and honoring Carrie Fisher’s legacy with the franchise. At this time, there is no official word on how all of this will play out. But we do know there will be no future Leia in Star Wars movies set within this ongoing timeline. There could, however, be a younger actress brought in to play Leia for some of the anthology spin-off movies. And everyone seems to think Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown is the perfect candidate for that.