Mark Hamill Says Episode IX Has One Big Problem: Carrie Fisher Is ‘Irreplaceable’

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Real life doesn’t come with spoiler warnings, so there’s one key detail we already know about the sequel to The Last Jedi: the late, great Carrie Fisher will not be involved. Of course, that doesn’t mean Princess Leia is officially out of the running. There has been speculation that Lucasfilm could revive the character, either through the techniques used to put Grand Moff Tarkin (and young Leia!) in Rogue One or by, god forbid, casting a different actor in the role. But when Collider asked Mark Hamill about the future of Leia, he was quick to dismiss both possibilities.

“I think it would be tough re-casting, only because she’s so indelibly linked with that character,” he said. “They’ve already ruled out the idea of, you know, computer generating a performance like they did with Peter Cushing, so gee, that’s got to be a really, not an insurmountable problem, but… I know that the script had been developed enough that when we lost her they had to go back to square one. But she’s irreplaceable, you know, as far as I’m concerned.”

But if Leia is completely eliminated from Episode IX, what will we be missing? Hamill isn’t sure of the answer, but he has strong suspicions that something significant was in the works. “I don’t know what the specific plans were for that character, but just the way Han Solo was more prominent in Episode VII and Luke was more prominent in VIII, we assumed Leia would be more prominent in IX, especially since the dynamic of having Kylo Ren as her son.”

If you’re suddenly re-devastated by the loss of Carrie Fisher, now might be the time to reflect on the highlights of her career. For more of Hamill’s comments, check out the interview below.