'Star Wars: Episode 8': Will Carrie Fisher's death change the overall narrative for the Rian Johnson sequel?

Luke Skywalker (Hamill) in "Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens" promo still | Lucasfilm Ltd./Disney

With Lucasfilm Ltd. already stating that they have no plans of reviving Carrie Fisher in future installments of the franchise via computer-generated imagery (CGI), supplementary questions regarding how her death would be handled moving forward have been popping up. In a way, the statement confirms the death of General Organa some time in between "Star Wars: Episode VIII" and "Star Wars: Episode IX." And on top of how this will eventually come down, how her demise will affect other main game players also remains to be seen.

While it has not been specified whether her highly rumored separate encounters with twin brother Luke (Mark Hamill) and son Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) have been shot already, it is interesting to know if Lucasfilm is doing some alterations in the overall trajectory of the contemporary trilogy to accommodate Fisher's death. With news of General Organa tipped to even have a bigger role in "Episode IX" prior to the unfortunate incident, a slew of fan theories predicts that Luke may eventually meet his death even before the current saga comes to a close. But with Han (Harrison Ford) already narratively dead and Fisher's demise, which inadvertently points to Leia's imminent death, Luke is only the remaining legend that could carry on and see the generational transition to Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac).

"Episode VIII" helmer Rian Johnson has previously revealed that the crux of his piece in the episodic series will be the younger Skywalker. In an exclusive interview with USA Today, the director revealed that be the core question of the flick will be "What's going on with Luke Skywalker?" The last living Jedi at least thus far was only seen later at the ending scene in 2015's "Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens," in which he did not even utter a word. And it is thus expected that the follow-up picks up exactly where J.J. Abrams ended his "Star Wars" narrative — diving right away to Luke's first words to his possible new padawan.

It is important to note, however, that Johnson's comments were made prior to Fisher's death. And with one last chance in doing a fitting send-off to the galaxy's fiercest freedom fighter, fans are curious to know if the scheduled reshoots this summer will have significant narrative changes to the film, especially since the veteran actress and writer has already finished shooting for the principal photography of "Episode VIII." Last year, "Rogue One" went through massive reshoots that made pivotal changes not just in terms of sequences but also in the story of the standalone. This indicates the possibility of having some alterations done for the upcoming saga movie to better fit the situation and make everything work for a better "Episode IX" transition.

The trailer for the sequel was originally scheduled to land sometime in the Spring as shared by Lucasfilm Ltd. president Kathleen Kennedy. But much like everything else in the lore, the current predicament is expected to affect this with reshoots only commencing in the summer. It can be remembered that "Rogue One" suffered a bit of a backlash when it had pivotal trailer scenes that were ultimately axed from the final cut of the film. And hopefully, this is something that "Episode VIII" will not have the mistake of doing.

"Star Wars: Episode VIII" is set to arrive in cinemas on Dec. 15, 2017 followed by "Star Wars: Episode IX" on May 23, 2019.