While the 40 years of Star Wars panel was light on news, it was fairly heavy on the feels. The much-vaunted surprises turned out to be George Lucas (as predicted,) Harrison Ford (who I don’t think anyone expected) and Billie Lourd, who took part in a truly epic tribute to Carrie Fisher.
I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house after the tribute video (above,) and it was only enhanced by the reveal of John Williams and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra playing Princess Leia’s theme. They followed up with the Main Theme and the Imperial March, just in time to allow us to regain our composure.
The video does contain a look at Fisher on-set in The Last Jedi, but in the scheme of things that feels secondary. And while the panel did mainly focus on the first 6 films, it’s really only appropriate that it ended the way it did. Tomorrow, we’ll look ahead.
Carrie Fisher may appear in Episode IX after all. Todd Fisher tells the New York Daily News that he and Carrie’s daughter Billie Lourd have given Lucasfilm permission to use “recent footage” of her for the trilogy’s finale:
“Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don’t,” said Fisher, as he attended the opening night gala of the TCM Film Festival in Los Angeles, celebrating “In the Heat of the Night.”
“She’s as much a part of it as anything and I think her presence now is even more powerful than it was, like Obi Wan — when the saber cuts him down he becomes more powerful. I feel like that’s what’s happened with Carrie. I think the legacy should continue.”
Rogue One didn’t take home either of the two Oscars it was nominated for last night. Hacksaw Ridge took sound mixing, while The Jungle Book won VFX. (Having Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed present it was a bit weird when a win wasn’t really expected, but hey, that’s Hollywood.) Alas. Unlike last year’s Ex Machina upset, this was far from a surprise – and the ceremony had even bigger shocks later on with a Best Picture mixup.
Kenny Baker and Carrie Fisher were both part of the In Memoriam segment. Mom Debbie Reynolds and Carrie closed it out, with the “May the Force be with you” clip from The Force Awakens.
Alum Natalie Portman – who didn’t attend due to her pregnancy – lost out Best Actress to La La Land’s Emma Stone.
The Felicity Jones episode of Saturday Night Live last night was, sadly, a bit of a dud. The only Star Wars content was in her monologue, above. The rest was… Pretty meh, sadly. Nothing is hit-or-miss like SNL!
Lucasfilm has outright denied a recent report that said they’ve been negotiating wit Carrie Fisher’s estate to digitally recreate her for future films. The statement:
We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa.
Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family. She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to Star Wars.
The rumor originated on the BBC earlier this week, and was first reported by SWNN, with an expansion by io9.
“Carrie’s favorite possession was a giant Prozac pill that she bought many years ago. A big pill,” Todd explained. “She loved it, and it was in her house, and Billie and I felt it was where she’d want to be.”
I’ve always found it difficult to write about things like loss. If there’s no sarcasm to be found I default to news-mode about 90% of the time, and that’s probably being fairly generous with the percentages. So I asked for Jaders to send in their own thoughts and memories about Carrie Fisher – and Debbie Reynolds, who holds her own special place in Club Jade history.