The Future of Star Wars and Computer Generated Imagery

The Star Wars franchise is popular with all age groups
The Star Wars franchise is popular with all age groups
Courtesy of Google Images

The Star Wars frenzy began almost forty years ago when A New Hope hit theaters grossing $775 million worldwide, which gave young actors like Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher names in the industry.  Fast-forward to today, where the world is without Fisher, and the original trilogy has three prequels and two more sequels on their way, and the original movie seems like galaxies away.  The most recent film, Rogue One, is a stand-alone prequel that grossed over $914 million worldwide since its release on December 16, 2016, making it the fifth largest grossing film of 2016 even though it was released fifteen days prior to the new year.  Rogue One follows a young girl’s search for the plans for the weapon named the ‘Death Star’–created by the Empire with the potential to destroy entire planets– and is a prequel to A New Hope. Of course, this is a prequel to a movie created almost forty years ago so some of the characters have aged or passed away. To maintain the spirit of the film and keep the cast in sync with the actual story line of the galaxy, producers used computer-generated imagery (CGI) in Rogue One to put a young Fisher into the film.

Carrie Fisher got her start in the film industry at the age of nineteen in the movie Shampoo in 1975 and two years later was in A New Hope, which propelled her career for the next thirty years. Fisher plays the role of Princess Leia–the daughter of Padme Amidala of Naboo– and works to destroy the Death Star.  Leia is an icon in the film industry and is seen as a feminist hero, paving the way for women to have major roles in blockbuster movies.

Outside of her character and the galaxy of Star Wars, Fisher was open about her bipolar disorder and drug addiction and was known for her humor. Fisher passed away on December 27 after suffering a medical emergency a few days prior on a plane from London to Los Angeles at sixty years old. Two days later, her mother, Debbie Reynolds, who was also an actress, passed away from a stroke, which shocked the world. Renowned for their work and compassion in the American film industry, Fisher and Reynolds will be remembered for their genuine spirit and dedication to their craft.

In 2012, The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm for $4.06 billion and got the rights for distributing any new Star Wars films, like The Force Awakens and Rogue One. While the cast has already filmed and is predicted to have finished Episode 8, it is rumored that Fisher has a leading role in the last of the three new movies. Producers could easily use CGI to give Fisher the lines they had previously written, or the writers are going to have to rework the storyline. With the technology available today, I think it would be a disservice to not use CGI in the next two films to give Fisher the ending she deserves in the Star Wars galaxy. Of course, if they are going to use CGI they need to give the money made off of the character and the salary that Fisher would be getting if she was alive to her family.

I usually do not support CGI, not because I think it looks bad — though some people think so — but because in some cases it can be used just to create profit off of an actor that is dead.  Of course, these next two movies will likely do well, but I do not think the motivating factor to use CGI for Leia would be to make a profit.  The Star Wars industry will continue to do well with or without Leia being in the storyline but it will likely upset the millions of excited fans that have grown up loving her, like myself.

To simply just cut Leia out of the plot would not only be a disservice to the story, but to Fisher as well. I know that it is ethically questionable and that CGI could change the film industry for my generation but for some reason I feel like Fisher would want Leia to finish her journey.  It is no secret that Fisher had her own demons and likely turned to drugs to cope, but I have faith that she never did anything without giving it one hundred percent.  The Star Wars industry is a form of art and the producers should use the spirit of the millions of people that are mourning to give Leia the best finish by using CGI in Episode 9. However, as of right now the producers of Star Wars have already declared that CGI will not be used on Fisher in the next few movies. I know that the world is heartbroken over the loss of this warm and hilarious individual, and her mother,  but in the words of Fisher herself:

“Take your broken heart, make it into art.”


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    RachelJan 24, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    This is one of my favorite Carrie Fisher quotes. Well done.