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leiageneral.jpeg

Are You High? No, Meryl Streep Should NOT Play Princess Leia In 'Star Wars: Episode IX'

By Tori Preston | Film | April 5, 2018 |

By Tori Preston | Film | April 5, 2018 |


leiageneral.jpeg

There is a very bad idea rippling through the internet right now, like an unrealistically depicted planetary explosion in space and twice as stupid. So of course, it’s related to Star Wars. Specifically: Is there a way to see the Leia plotline through to its natural conclusion in Episode IX in the absence of Carrie Fisher? And the obvious answer is NO. Are you fucking high right now? We’re still not over our heartbreak over her passing, and honestly the fact that her death might have FUBAR-ed the plans for the current batch of Star Wars films is the least of our concerns. She was a treasure, and on top of that — ain’t nobody else gonna’ play Princess/General Leia, except cosplayers everywhere.

So naturally there’s a petition in circulation, suggesting that Meryl Streep be cast as Leia in Episode IX:

After the death of Carrie Fisher, there have been a lot of uncertainties in how STAR WARS Episode IX is going to deal with Leia. As Lucasfilm claimed that they have no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher with CGI in STAR WARS Episode IX, the more possible solutions are to recast Leia or to write her out of the film. In an interview with USA Today, Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker and the brother of Princess Leia in STAR WARS, claimed that “Leia was meant to be more prominent in (episode) 9.” As the fans of STAR WARS and Carrie Fisher, we really want Leia to shine in Episode IX and we certainly do not want her to be written out of the film abruptly without a reasonable plot. Therefore, recasting Leia is a more ideal option for us and we believe that Meryl Streep is an ideal candidate to play Leia.

While I can appreciate the dedication and endless curiosity of the fans, this will never and should never happen, for a number of reasons.

- Studios don’t care about your rinky dink online petitions, so STAHP.

- Also, your goal is 11,000 signatures? Really? Star Wars: The Last Jedi earned $220 million in North America opening weekend, which if we estimate an average ticket price of $12 would mean that 18,333,333 people saw it. Disney probably doesn’t care what 11,000 of you think. Go big or go home.

- Look, Star Wars fans historically don’t take kindly to change or new directions in that galaxy far, far away. So even if 11,000 of you think recasting Leia is fine, you will be the minority and fury will rain down upon you.

- Even Mark Hamill thinks this won’t work, and Luke would know. As he told Collider: “I think it’d be tough recasting, only because she’s so indelibly linked with that character.”

- If Force Awakens was Han Solo’s swan song, and The Last Jedi was Luke Skywalker’s, then yes — it would have been nice to have seen whether the producers were building to a bigger exit for Carrie Fisher’s Leia. But that’s because we’d have been saying goodbye to CARRIE FISHER’S Leia. What emotional impact would saying goodbye to Meryl Streep’s Leia even have?


But even if you really DO think recasting Leia is worth it for the story, let’s face facts here: Meryl’s busy having a bang-off with Nicole Kidman in Big Little Lies!

First day on the set with Meryl and “my” darling boys! #BigLittleLies

A post shared by Nicole Kidman (@nicolekidman) on


So instead, the Overlords decided to speculate on other alternatives who could step into Carrie Fisher’s impossible shoes and walk that Leia walk, blasters blazing. Here are our thoughts:

- Viola Davis

- Jared Leto

- This isn’t like Dumbledore where you can just get any other old British dude with a really long beard and it’s like “mmmm, plausible.” Counterpoint: get any old British dude with a really long beard to replace her. She can do magic now and came back from the dead — replace her with Ian McKellan.

- Hayden Christianson. Just make it canon: all force ghosts are played by him now. Embrace the Special Edition edits.

- Have Meryl Streep play James Bond, to free up Daniel Craig to play Leia

- Digital version, but Andy Serkis does the mo-cap.

- A gorilla does the mo-cap, but Andy Serkis’s face.

- Oh my god, have Harrison Ford play her force ghost and just insist that they were always the same character in a twist no one saw coming

- And of course… DAPHNE ZUNIGA

Feel free to lodge any of these as an official counter-petition and watch it be ignored by the Powers That Be.




Tori Preston is deputy editor of Pajiba. She rarely tweets here but she promises she reads all the submissions for the "Ask Pajiba (Almost) Anything" column at [email protected].


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