"Star Wars" fans were shocked Friday when it was announced that the late Carrie Fisher would be back as Leia in the upcoming "Episode IX," which begins production this week.
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Lucasfilm will be using unreleased footage from "The Force Awakens" to fill her role. The acting icon died in late 2016 after filming "The Last Jedi."
One person who is particularly excited about the move was Fisher's brother, Todd.
Todd Fisher told "GMA" he has not seen the re-written script for "Episode IX" but fully supports the decision.
"Carrie and Leia [are] one and I think it’s a great thing that this is a go!” he told "GMA."
Friday's announcement stunned many longtime "Star Wars" insiders. Late last year, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy told ABC News that a Carrie Fisher “digital double,” or recreation, would not be part of the new film. A digital double of a young princess Leia was shown at the end of "Rogue One."
"Unfortunately ... we were well underway in 'Episode IX' in our thoughts, [but] we had not written the script yet. But we've regrouped, we started over again in January. Sadly Carrie will not be in '[Episode] IX,'" Kennedy said at the time.
J.J. Abrams, who directed "The Force Awakens," will oversee the latest film, having replaced director Colin Trevorrow last September.
Though there is no word on when the studio decided to go this route, on Friday Abrams said via statement, "We desperately loved Carrie Fisher. Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in 'Episode IX' by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII."
Todd Fisher said the unused footage will continue his sister's "Star Wars" legacy.
He then quoted one of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s famous lines, “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could imagine.”
As for Abrams, Todd Fisher said the director "understood Carrie’s iconic role, and he has masterfully re-crafted this final entry to include this unused and very last footage of Carrie ever taken, without resorting to CGI or animatronics. Our family and her fans will look forward with great anticipation for this one!”
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