Since the tragic passing of Carrie Fisher, the number one issue that’s been dominating the social media waves has arguably been how this affects the story line of Episodes 8 and 9.
While it’s common knowledge that all her scenes have been shot for Ep.8, what to do about Ep.9 seems to still be up in the air. The only thing to be confirmed is that they will not be resurrecting Carrie Fisher through the use of CGI.
While there has been several drip feeds from Lucasfilm, as well as the various rumours, it seems the consensus is that General Leia will be written out of the final movie. Possibly by killing her, either on screen or off.
But I have a different idea.
I know many around the world feel that characters can only be played by one person, specifically the person that created that character. But how often has that been proved wrong?
- James Bond
- The Joker
- Jack Ryan
- Robin Hood
- Sherlock Holmes
- Even the entire cast of the original Star Trek!
And yes, some of them have been worse, but some have also been better.
When it comes to Leia, I firmly see a character that has transcended the original actress that played her. Carrie Fisher will always have a special place in our hearts, but Leia is so much more. In the same way we will one day have recast younger actors playing all our fan favourites, there is no reason why this also can’t be applied to the older characters.
But who should play her?
I don’t think the role would go to someone completely unknown. If we’re looking for an actress in her 60s, then chances are she’ll be someone who is somewhat semi-known to the public.
While there are a variety of choices, I would ignore any consideration of how Leia was when she was younger. What we’re looking for is someone who can play a General who has been fighting against an oppressive regime for almost her entire life.
With that in mind…
Cherry JonesEmbed from Getty Images
I’m basing this choice mainly on Jones’ performance in season 7 and 8 of 24. There she showed her ability to play a beleaguered leader, consistently under stress, yet able to still stand up for the ideals she believed in. If that isn’t General Leia, I don’t know what is. Cherry Jones is absolutely my top choice for General Leia.
Kate MulgrewEmbed from Getty Images
Captain Kathryn Janeway. Need I say more?
Yes, Yes I do. Because Star Trek: Voyager was terrible. But Mulgrew was a shining light who, in her role, showed a character pushed far beyond what could be expected of her. The ability to take command of hundreds in the face of overwhelming odds is exactly what General Leia is, and Mulgrew would be a great choice.
Tovah FeldshuhEmbed from Getty Images
This one was actually a recommendation from a friend, but apparently Feldshuh’s performance as politician Deanna Monroe in The Walking Dead is somewhat reminiscent of what Carrie Fisher brought to the role. After seeing a few clips it does seem she has the ability to play the graceful, yet unyielding military leader that is General Leia.
Stockard ChanningEmbed from Getty Images
Channing is technically a little too old for the role, being that she’s in her mid-70s. But man, she’d make a great General Leia. If you haven’t seen her performance as Abbey Bartlet in The West Wing, then you’ve truly missed out on an awesome screen performance.
Okay, Plakson is obviously waaaaaay too tall, (She’s the same height as Harrison Ford!) But let’s live a little. Based on her role as the Klingon Ambassador, K’Ehleyr, I think she would be amazing in the role of General Leia, and would be more than able to bring a sense of stoicism in the face of overwhelming evil.
Lena OlinEmbed from Getty Images
Now Olin hasn’t done a huge amount of work in Hollywood. Being Swedish most of her work is in Europe. Most of you probably recognise her from the TV show Alias, where she played Irina Derevko. It was an astounding performance, her character full of strength and occasionally vulnerable. If there’s anyone that could bring that special touch that Carrie Fisher had, it’s undoubtedly Lena Olin.
Agree with any of my choices? Think all of them are terrible? Who would you pick to play the role of General Leia?