GeekMoms Discuss Leia and Fisher and Episode IX

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© Disney / Lucasfilm

On Thursday, io9 reported that Disney and LucasFilm would be discussing how to approach Carrie Fisher’s death and Episode IX, wherein Leia is rumored to have a larger role.

Over at GeekMom, the generals have been having a heated discussion in which all the various options and opinions have been battered about. In fact, the only thing we all seem to agree on is that we don’t agree and we’re all really devastated.

Karen

So the question I have is: it was never even a question when Dumbledore died. They found a replacement. But with this–that’s not even a consideration?

Corrina

It’s a more central role, I guess. It’d be more [like] if, in 20 years, someone else played Hermione. (Of course, someone else already has…)

Karen

I guess? It seems to me that they were making Leia central and are more willing to back off than consider recasting? Or is it that talking about recasting feels insensitive? I dunno…

Corrina

I suspect they’re grieving right now and unsure. They knew her personally, so maybe making decisions right now is hard for them.

Karen

Exactly.

The thing that would suck most, though, would be if everything that Old Leia stands for ends up undermined.

Claire

It depends on the story for me. Is it needed?

Would the story need to change too much if they didn’t recast?

Karen

See, here’s my thought: Leia means a lot to our generation. And after reading some of Fisher’s writings about the character, I think that she, through her acting, fought especially hard to make the character the strong female we love. I don’t think it was necessarily Lucas’s intent. So, to me, to lose the part of the story where Leia would finally be given the plot lines and writing that Fisher fought for? *shrug* I think that somehow abandoning the entire plot would almost be a disservice to her memory. That leaves CGI or recasting…

For me personally? The issue feels more about wanting to see that character who was vaguely marginalized be given the role that she really deserved. Yes, Leia was strong in the original trilogy, but I don’t feel it was intentional in terms of how she still had to be objectified and still had to have the love interest, etc etc.  I think that bringing her into her own and giving her a stronger role is a better example of the shifting societal norms than bringing in a character who was devised as a strong character. In addition, I also think that, from my own personal viewpoint, I really love the way that the mother/general plays out in terms of being a mom who can do both, and to insert a new character that can fulfill that role as well creates two additional issues. One is – to create the “working mother” you’d have to incorporate an all new backstory for either Ahsoka or Hera to match that. Two – I think that you’d be bringing in a character who was already devised as a “strong” female character instead of furthering the growth that Leia was being provided narratively. That, to me, takes away from the evolutionary aspect of the societal norms as seen through representation.

Corrina

I just feel like Leia’s story was always marginalized in the original trilogy and she was, once again, pushed aside in Force Awakens because Harrison Ford was the bigger star. (And Luke was more important to the story.) So saying “kill her off” says to me “Leia will never get the spotlight she deserved all along.” A spotlight that Carrie Fisher fought to give her–and fought the sexism of the time to make Leia who she was, despite the “no bras in space” or the slave Leia costume, which she turned into the “Hutt Slayer Leia” costume. To simply kill her off without a spotlight… seems all kinds of wrong and doubles down on the original marginalization. But, yes, I know I’m a different generation, but that’s what Leia means to me and my generation.

Nivi

There’s this Indian movie from the ’80s, cheesy and typical Bollywood, where they cast 2 actresses for each half. Boy falls in love with girl (based on her looks), finds her, wins her over, they fall in love. They sneak off to temple and promise to be together. Get into horrible car accident. He almost dies, her face is totally disfigured. His mother (who doesn’t approve of the girl) convinces her to disappear, and tells him she died. Meanwhile, the girl gets a face transplant and tries to start a new life. (ignore the major plot hole where he had found her in the first place by plastering posters of her image all over town, so the idea that there’s no picture of her for the plastic surgeon to work with is absurd). He meets the girl again, doesn’t recognize her but somehow does. Finally, at the end, she admits who she is and they end up together (defying his mother).

It’s a horribly cheesy movie (much like the movie Face/Off), but mightn’t there be a way to allow Leia to continue to exist with another challenge that she’s managed to overcome? I could totally see her battling some creature and emerging disfigured. But that wouldn’t stop her. She would still be the badass general.

That said, I agree with having someone her age take on the role.