Back in December last year Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy categorically confirmed Carrie Fisher would not appear in Episode 9.
This position was completely reversed when it was revealed earlier this year that unused footage from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi would provide a way to bring the story of Leia Skywalker to a close.
It was expected that Leia would be shown in early Episode IX scenes before her death was somehow incorporated into the storyline.
However new leaks claim Leia will not only be part of a powerful and triumphant later scene, she will finally ignite a lightsaber. And not just any lightsaber…
In the non-canon Legends books and shows, Leia has long been portrayed as a Force user herself.
However the movies have only shown her mystical ability to communicate with Luke and sense her brother in fleeting scenes. Until, of course, that divisive moment in The Last Jedi when she somehow channeled the Force after being blown into space during an attack on her ship.
The latest leak describes a tantalising scene where she actually holds and ignites a classic jedi lightsaber.
How is this possible and will she be seen in battle, herself? It has been reported that the filmakers will rotoscope the existing footage of Leia out of the scenes that were shot and transfer it into completely new scenes and sets. While it is possible to put Leia into entirely new settings it can’t change the dialogue and actions Carrie Fisher shot.
As always, please take any such leaks and rumours with a hefty grain of salt. However, with filming underway and storyboards and concept art floatin around, there is plenty of material draw upon.
The leak describes: “Leia on a world that appears to be a mix between Endor, Tatooine and Jakku. This may be the (Outer Rim) planet of Batuu.
“Leia is dressed in a black outfit almost like a robe. Leia is with Maz Kanata, C-3PO and R2-D2, holding the Skywalker lightsaber and examining it. She begins to hold it in a Jedi-like stance and activates it, pointing it towards a city that looks like it has gone through battle.”
This certainly ties in with numerous reports that much of the action in Episode 9 will take place in the Outer Rim where Kylo Ren has been building his empire.
It had been reported that Leia will seek to find proof of First Order atrocities and oppression to galvanise resistance across the galaxy, as well as trying to destabilise the First Order by attacking its hidden power base and resources.
Before fans get too excited at the thought Leia might suddenly be able to fight with a lightsaber, the leak adds: “This does not indicate that Leia is a Jedi. The stance is done more in a victorious way. It could be the site of a First Order defeat.”
Fans, of course, will be happy to see any form of last scenes with Leia which will honour the character’s legacy and provide a fitting way to say goodbye to everyone’s princess.