When Carrie Fisher passed away, people immediately fired up the sensationalist clickbait panic that evil Disney would resurrect her via CGI in Episode IX. Obviously this was due to her death being really close to the opening of Rogue One, and people used the fear of CGI Tarkin to stoke people’s panic and drive up website hits.
The latest rumor comes from the BBC, where one of their broadcasts said Lucasfilm was talking with Fisher’s estate about the use of her image in the future. StarWarsNewsNet was able to get the actual quote from the piece:
â€œAnd if what might be regarded as unseemly haste, Disney is negotiating with the actorâ€™s estate over her continued appearance in the franchise. If Disney gets the go-ahead, Carrie Fisher will join Peter Cushingâ€¦â€
It should be noted that nowhere in the BBC report did they specifically mention Episode IX, despite many headlines this week claiming that was the case. Also it’s entirely possible this BBC TV report was just reporting on the news about Lucasfilm meeting this week in Los Angeles to discuss how they’ll deal with Leia, while tossing in an unfounded rumor that they’re negotiating with the estate.
Even if the rumor of them negotiating with the estate is true, it’s likely for more than just Episode IX. Lucasfilm would want Leia to appear in animated series as well as attractions in the upcoming Star Wars Land in the theme parks, so they would want to ensure they have permission to use Fisher’s image from the estate. When someone passes away things change and a big company like Disney would need approval from the estate, even if they had rights to the person’s appearance while they were alive.