While fans from around the world have gathered to share their love of Star Wars at this year’s Star Wars Celebration, there has been one sobering element to the festivities. The loss of Carrie Fisher has been felt at every level of the convention, from Thursday’s bittersweet memorial video put together by Lucasfilm to the sadness felt while Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson shared his behind-the-scenes footage from the production. And since this is a convention of all things Star Wars, fans have also speculated about the role the actress might play in the next film. Is there a place for Fisher in Star Wars: Episode IX?

In previous statements, the studio had expressed some uncertainty about how they would handle Fisher’s legacy in the next movie, but Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy seemed to have no such doubt in today’s interview with ABC News (via The Hollywood Reporter). The video and transcript of her remarks are both below:

We finished everything in [‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’], and Carrie’s absolutely phenomenal in the movie. And we’re so happy that we were able to complete shooting in the summer. Unfortunately, Carrie passed away… So by the time we were well underway with ‘Episode IX’  —  in our thoughts, we had not written the script yet  —  but we’ve regrouped, we started over again in January, so, sadly, Carrie will not be in [‘Star Wars: Episode IX’].

It was just a week ago that Carrie Fisher’s family members were telling the New York Daily News that they had given approval for Lucasfilm to included previously unused footage of the actress in Star Wars: Episode IX, so this is something of an about-face for the studio. If Lucasfilm has decided not to include her character in the film, then odds are they could not find a respectful way to honor her legacy without having her character be noticeably absent from the proceedings. There are fans who will be relieved, and surely some who will be disappointed, but there’s something to say for making the decision and moving on. Here’s to honoring the memory of a beloved writer and actress and moving forward with the franchise.

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