SWCO: 40 years of Star Wars panel hits the high notes with Carrie Fisher tribute


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.

Todd Fisher: Leia will appear in Episode IX

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.”

Fisher had finished filming for The Last Jedi prior to her death in December. Lucasfilm said they had “no plans to digitally recreate” Fisher as Leia in January. In March, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that her death hadn’t changed Leia’s role in Episode VIII.

Episode IX, to be directed by Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow, is due out in 2019.

Family, friends remember Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds

Carrie’s daughter Billie Lourd has posted on her Instagram for the first time since the death of her mother and grandmother, thanking fans for their support and saying: “There are no words to express how much I will miss my Abadaba and my one and only Momby. Your love and support means the world to me.” Todd Fisher also discussed his mother and sister on Friday’s 20/20.

Carrie’s half-sister Joely Fisher penned a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter: “You all lost Princess Leia and Carrie Fisher; I lost my hero, my mentor, my mirror.”

Also at THR, Mark Hamill writes at length about Carrie, sharing a couple of new stories.

Meanwhile, HBO has moved up the documentary about Carrie and Debbie, Bright Lights, to Saturday, January 7 at 8 p.m. Wishful Drinking, Carrie’s one-woman show from 2010, is currently streaming on HBO Go.

The weekend in VIII: Actual filming begins in Dubrovnik

viiiActual shooting for Episode VIII has begun, and sure enough, pictures continue to leak. They do mostly seem to be extras, or at least unknown actors, as well as props. The most curious addition seems to be someone riding a creature. Speculation has it that the rider may be another ‘stunt double’ for an actor who isn’t (as far as we know) present.

In other news, Billie Lourd will be back, and her role will be at least a little larger this time. No word if she’ll still be sporting the hair buns.