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Princess Leia is cleared to appear in Star Wars: Episode IX

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Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences' 7th Annual Governors Awards - Arrivals Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The way appears to be clear for Princess Leia to make an appearance in Star Wars: Episode IX, despite Carrie Fisher’s tragic death. In an interview with New York Daily News, Todd Fisher — Carrie Fisher’s brother — said that both he and her daughter, Billie Lourd, had granted Disney the rights to use existing footage of the actress.

“Both of us were like, ‘Yes, how do you take her out of it?’ And the answer is you don't,” Todd Fisher said. “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.”

Carrier Fisher’s scenes for the upcoming Episode VIII have reportedly already been filmed, but if she is to appear in Episode IX, it seems it will be using leftover footage from existing shoots, rather than in an entirely computer-generated form. Disney pledged not to use CGI to re-create Fisher’s likeness for Episode IX in January, issuing a statement a short time after the actress’s death in which it said it would “cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia,” and “honor everything she gave to Star Wars.”

Todd Fisher didn’t confirm what role Leia would have in subsequent Star Wars movies, nor whether she would feature in Episode IX at all, but indicated that Disney bosses were keen to bring the character back. He also said that he had faith, in both the movie’s producers to “do great things,” and the public to take care of his sister’s memory. “I’m not the only part in that equation, but I think the people deserve to have her,” he told the NY Daily News. “She's owned by them.”