‘Star Wars’ May Finally Recast Princess Leia Next Year

in Star Wars

Princess Leia in her white hooded robes in 'A New Hope'

Credit: Lucasfilm

It’s almost impossible to imagine anyone filling the shoes of Princess Leia other than Carrie Fisher. The beloved actress sadly passed away in 2016, but her iconic Star Wars character lives on in the hearts of fans and, though currently off-screen, in the franchise itself.

Fisher portrayed Leia Organa in six out of the 14 Star Wars films. First, in the Original Trilogy films, Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope (1977), Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983).

Luke Skywalker (left) kissing Leia Organa Solo (right) in 'The Last Jedi'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Finally Answers Fans’ Prayers, Makes “Corrections” to the Sequels

Over three decades later, she would return for the Sequel Trilogy films, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens (2015), Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi (2017), and Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

While it’s only been four years since we last saw Fisher/Leia on the screen, eventually Star Wars may have to put Leia back in live action. After all, we’ve seen Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) appear in the Mando-Verse twice.

Han, Luke and Leia in A New Hope
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Star Wars’ May Recast Luke Skywalker Next Year, Amid Character’s Uncertain Future

Leia has only been name-dropped twice in Ahsoka, which takes place a few years after Return of the Jedi. So she’s definitely around, operating somewhere off-screen. It is, of course, understandable that we haven’t seen her.

However, shows like Ahsoka constantly ask viewers to believe they’re connected with the Star Wars movies, which is why they’re usually cameos, references, and Easter eggs galore. In a way, they’ve become almost obsessed with the idea of making sure we know they’re canon.

Princess Leia, C-3PO and Han Solo in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon in 'Star Wars'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Marvel Star Could Ditch MCU for ‘Star Wars’ Return Following Panned Disney+ Series

But constantly name-dropping a character without delivering the goods will eventually wear thin, and any subsequent references will become transparent. After all, we know Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia isn’t anywhere in the background — we’re just imagining that she is.

On the other hand, recasting a character — especially one like Princess Leia — also has disadvantages, because you’re asking the viewer to suspend their disbelief even more. Let’s take a look at the anthology prequel film Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), for example.

Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo in 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Fast and Furious’ Star Could Replace Gina Carano as Cara Dune In ‘The Mandalorian’

While fans weren’t happy that another actor had stepped into the role of Han Solo, with whom Harrison Ford has long been synonymous, there’s also the issue of believability. In other words, Alden Ehrenreich looks nothing like Harrison Ford.

But does this really matter? Does Hayden Christensen look anything like Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker)? Ewan McGregor like Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi)? Donald Glover like Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian)? Okay, those recastings were done because of significant age differences with the characters, but you get the point.

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Will Temporarily Replace Grogu Next Year, Amid Character’s Uncertain Future

When it comes to Leia Organa, the bottom line is that Carrie Fisher is sadly no longer around. But even if she were, she’d hardly be able to portray a younger version of the character. After all, Harrison Ford wasn’t expected to portray the young Han Solo.

But there are a few points worth considering. As we’ve mentioned, Luke Skywalker has appeared in both The Mandalorian Season 2 and The Book of Boba Fett (2021), created with the combined efforts of Mark Hamill, a stand-in actor, and digital de-aging.

Princess Leia giving Han a medal in 'A New Hope'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Releases Footage for Epic “In-Between-Quel” Coming in 2024

We then have a young Princess Leia in the anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), played by actress Ingvild Deila. Leia’s likeness is also created using digital magic, which is why Deila’s face is entirely hidden by a de-aged Carrie Fisher.

We also saw a de-aged Carrie Fisher/young Princess Leia in The Rise of Skywalker during the flashback sequence in which Luke Skywalker is training his sister in lightsaber combat.

And then we have Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023), which features a rather impressive de-aged Harrison Ford as a young Indy. While de-aging, or Deepfake technology as it’s more commonly known, still isn’t quite perfect, it’s still wildly impressive.

De-aged Harrison Ford 'Indiana Jones Dial of Destiny'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Grogu May Join a New Bounty Hunter Before ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 4

Unfortunately, where Leia is concerned, it’s unlikely to happen again, mainly because Fisher has passed away (although that didn’t stop Disney and Lucasfilm from “re-creating” Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One). But that doesn’t mean we won’t see Princess Leia played by a new actress, this time without the aid of digital technology.

In fact, we’ve already seen other actresses take on the role. Leia made a surprise and welcome appearance in the animated series Star Wars: Rebels (2014 — 2018), in the Season 2 episode “A Princess on Lothal”, in which she’s voiced by Julie Dolan.

In the animated show Star Wars: Forces of Destiny (2017 — 2018), she’s voiced by Shelby Young (and then of course there’s Vivien Lyra Blair’s portrayal in Obi-Wan Kenobi).

'Star Wars Forces of Destiny' line up
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Which Open-World Game Will Be the Biggest — ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Avatar’, or ‘Star Wars’?

Recasting a character in animation is obviously a lot easier than in live action. The same goes for video games — Leia has appeared in numerous Star Wars games over the years, such as the LEGO Star Wars and Battlefront titles.

And next year, a brand-new Star Wars video game will hit shelves: Star Wars: Outlaws (2024). It’s the first open-world game in the franchise and it takes place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Kay Vess in Star Wars Outlaws
Credit: Massive Entertainment / Ubisoft / Lucasfilm Games

Related: 8 Things We Want From The Open World ‘Star Wars’ Game

This is the perfect place along the Star Wars timeline to have Princess Leia make an appearance. While the character has not been confirmed to be part of the game, Jabba the Hutt and (an immobilized) Han Solo will be present, so it’s possible.

It’s also possible other Original Trilogy characters will appear, like Luke, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R-2D2. However, as the game is set in the criminal underworld, we’ll most likely see characters such as Boba Fett, or maybe even Din Djarin/the Mandalorian.

Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars Outlaws
Credit: Massive Entertainment / Ubisoft / Lucasfilm Games

Related: Iconic ‘Star Wars’ Villain Confirmed for Upcoming Prequel

Where Leia is concerned, the great thing is that there are many actors who could bring her to life in the world of gaming. The game’s main character, Kay Vess, is played by actress Humberly González, yet the two don’t look anything alike.

Fans would be far more accepting of a recasting in a video game, just as they were when it came to Rebels and The Forces of Destiny. But let’s swing back into live action and see which actress could follow in Carrie Fisher’s footsteps and play the new Princess Leia.

Millie Bobby Brown

Millie Bobby Brown on the phone in Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

This British actress has already had her hat thrown in the ring to play a young Princess Leia. Stranger Things (2016) star Millie Bobby Brown, 19, looks very much like a young Carrie Fisher, and she’s popular enough to take on the role without too much criticism from fans.

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Finally Replaces the Sequel Trilogy

Daisy Edgar Jones

Daisy Edgar Jones in 'Where the Crawdads Sing'
Credit: Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Releasing

British actress Daisy Edgar Jones is best known on television for the sci-fi thriller War of the Worlds (2019 — 2021), and on the big screen, Where the Crawdads Sing (2022). Jones, 25, has that “Leia” essence about her, and we’d love to see what she can bring to the role.

Related: 7 Actresses Who Could Play the Female Joker

Kiernan Shipka

Kiernan Shipka in 'Totally Killer'
Credit: Blumhouse Television / Amazon Prime Video

American actress Kiernan Shipka has a number of solid roles under her belt, but her most well-known is in the teen horror remake series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018 — 2020). We think that Shipka, 23, has more than enough sass and charisma to play the new Leia.

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Star Becomes Supergirl for DCU Reboot

Star Wars‘ Ingvild Deila

De-aged Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Ingvild Deila portrayed Leia in Rogue One. While you can’t see her face, she still does a fantastic job bringing the Original Trilogy version of the character to life. Whether it’s with digital magic or without, we’d love to see the 32-year-old Norwegian actress reprise her role.

Related: ‘Wednesday’ Actress Could Replace Sarah Michelle Gellar in ‘Buffy’ Reboot

Saoirse Ronan

Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan in 'See How They Run'
Credit: Searchlight Pictures

Saoirse Ronan is a decorated actress, having appeared in films such as The Lovely Bones (2009), Ladybird (2017), Little Women (2019), and See How They Run (2022). The 29-year-old American-born Irish star is so talented she could easily step into Leia’s shoes.

Related: Will One of These Actresses Play April O’Neil In the Live-Action ‘Ninja Turtles’ Reboot?!

Sorcha Groundsell

Sorcha Groundsell in 'Clique'
Credit: BBC Studios / Balloon Entertainment

Scottish actress Sorcha Groundsell isn’t a household name, but her performance as Elizabeth Smith in the BBC thriller Clique (2017 — 2018) is outstanding. Not only that, but she bears an uncanny resemblance to a young Carrie Fisher (and Felicity Jones/Jyn Erso!).

Related: Cara Dune May Return in Upcoming ‘Star Wars’ Prequel, but Without Gina Carano

Emma Watson

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as Belle and Beast in 'Beauty and the Beast'
Credit: Disney

It would be unheard of for someone who has already played a Disney Princess to play another (although Princess Leia is yet to be officially crowned), but we think British actress Emma Watson, 33, has that sense of leadership essential to playing Leia, whether as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films or as Belle in Beauty and the Beast (2017).

Related: Who’s Playing Catwoman In ‘The Brave and the Bold’?

Star Wars‘ Vivien Lyra Blair

Young Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) in 'Obi-Wan Kenobi'
Credit: Lucasfilm

Vivien Lyra Blair brought a very young version of Princess Leia to life in the live-action series Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022). Will she go on to play the character again over the years, eventually becoming Carrie Fisher’s replacement in Star Wars? Only time will tell.

Whether or not Disney and Lucasfilm intend to recast Princess Leia remains to be seen. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely, especially considering how the franchise appears to be distancing itself from the original legacy characters.

But for now, here’s to hoping we’ll see her appear in Outlaws.

The landscape in 'Star Wars Outlaws'
Credit: Massive Entertainment / Ubisoft / Lucasfilm

Related: Despite ‘Ahsoka’ Hype, ‘Star Wars’ Will Replace Beloved Jedi Next Year

As per Ubisoft, here’s the synopsis for Outlaws:

Experience the first-ever open-world Star Wars game, set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Explore distinct planets across the galaxy, both iconic and new. Risk it all as Kay Vess, a scoundrel seeking freedom and the means to start a new life, along with her companion Nix. Fight, steal, and outwit your way through the galaxy’s crime syndicates as you join the galaxy’s most wanted.

If you’re willing to take the risk, the galaxy is full of opportunity.

Check out the trailer for Outlaws below:

Check out the behind-the-scenes featurette unveiled at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con and the official gameplay walkthrough below:

Related: New ‘Star Wars’ Prequel Writer Explains Grogu’s Temporary Replacement

Outlaws will be released on PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox Series X/S sometime in 2024.

Do you think Princess Leia will appear in Outlaws? And who do you think should play her in Star Wars in the future? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

Comments Off on ‘Star Wars’ May Finally Recast Princess Leia Next Year