'Star Wars' makers vow not to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The studio behind the "Star Wars" movie franchise said on Friday is has no plans to digitally recreate film performances of the late actress Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia, in upcoming installments of the blockbuster series.

Speculation had mounted since Fisher died unexpectedly last month, at age 60, that filmmakers might use new advances in computer graphics technology to resurrect digital images of the actress in forthcoming chapters of the "Star Wars" film epic.

Such technology was notably utilized in the newly released "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," in which a digital embodiment of British actor Peter Cushing, who died in 1994, returned for the role of the Grand Moff Tarkin that he first played in the original 1977 "Star Wars" adventure.

RELATED: Fisher's most loved quotes

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Carrie Fisher's most memorable quotes
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Carrie Fisher's most memorable quotes

“Sometimes I think all I want to find is a mean guy and make him be nice to me. Or maybe a nice guy who’s a little bit mean to me. But they’re usually too nice too soon or too mean too long” — “Wishful Drinking”

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“Youth and beauty are not accomplishments, they’re the temporary happy by-products of time and/or DNA. Don’t hold your breath for either.” — Twitter

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“I shot through my twenties like a luminous thread through a dark needle, blazing toward my destination: Nowhere.” — “Postcards from the Edge”

(Photo: Getty)

“Debbie remains the girl-next-door, whereas I live somewhere down the street.” — TV Times interview

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“It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend.” — “The Princess Diarist,” talking about her affair with “Star Wars” co-star Harrison Ford

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“Having waited my entire life to get an award for something, anything…I now get awards all the time for being mentally ill. It’s better than being bad at being insane, right? How tragic would it be to be runner-up for Bipolar Woman of the Year?” — “Wishful Drinking”

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"I'm an expert & ABSOLUTELY" -- Twitter, accusing Donald Trump of cocaine sniffles during a presidential debate 

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"Life is a cruel, horrible joke and I am the punch line." -- "Postcards from the Edge"

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"'Look,' he said, 'I don't think we should continue this discussion. I don't like this side of you.' 'I'm not a box,' she said 'I don't have sides. This is it. One side fits all. This is it.'" -- "Postcards from the Edge"

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"In my opinion, a problem derails your life and an inconvenience is not being able to get a nice seat on the un-derailed train." -- "Wishful Drinking"

(Photo: Getty)

"Happy is one of the many things I'm likely to be over the course of a day and certainly over the course of a lifetime. But I think if you have the expectation that you're going to be happy throughout your life -- more to the point, if you have a need to be comfortable all the time -- well, among other things, you have the makings of a classic drug addict or alcoholic." -- "Wishful Drinking"

(Photo: Getty)

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The Walt Disney Co-owned Lucasfilm, producers of the "Star Wars" franchise, posted a statement online putting to rest the notion that Fisher's image would likewise be recreated.

"We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher's performance as Princess or General Leia Organa," the studio said.

"Carrie Fisher was, is and always will be part of the Lucasfilm family," the statement added. "She was our princess, our general and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to 'Star Wars.'"

Fisher appeared in four of the "Star Wars" films, beginning with the original 1977 movie and its two sequels, playing the intrepid Princess Leia as a young actress.

She returned in Disney's 2015 reboot of the franchise, the "The Force Awakens," appearing as the more matronly General Leia Organa, leader of the Resistance movement fighting the evil First Order.

She had already filmed her role for the upcoming untitled sequel to that film - "Episode VIII" - which is due for release in 2017, and had been expected to reappear in "Episode IX" out in 2019.

The statement by Lucasfilm on Friday left in question whether her character would be written out of that film or another actress would be hired to play the Leia role.

Fisher died following a heart attack she suffered during a flight to Los Angeles from London, where she had been shooting the third season of the British sitcom "Catastrophe."

(Additional reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Mary Milliken)

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