The actress died in 2016 after filming ‘The Last Jedi’, with the final film in the new trilogy originally supposed to have focused on her character, leaving bosses with a conundrum of how to address the situation.
While producers have already ruled out digitally recreating General Leia, as they did with a younger version of the character in ‘Rogue One’, conversation recently turned to whether a different actress could play her.
However, Mark, who has played Luke Skywalker opposite Carrie Fisher since the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy, has weighed in on the matter, insisting she is “irreplaceable”.
The actor told Collider: “I don’t know what the specific plans were for that character, but since Han was more prominent in VII, Luke was more prominent in VIII, we assumed that Leia would be more prominent in IX, especially with the dynamic of Kylo Ren being her son.
“I think it would be tough recasting because she’s so indelibly linked to that character. They’ve already ruled out the idea of computer generating her performance like they did with Peter Cushing, so gee that’s got to be a really, not an insurmountable problem, but... I know the script had been developed enough so when we lost her they had to go back to square one.
“She’s irreplaceable as far as I’m concerned,” he added.
‘Star Wars’ boss Kathleen Kennedy previously revealed Episode IX was supposed to have put Leia in the spotlight.
Describing a conversation she and Carrie had when filming had wrapped on the upcoming film ‘The Last Jedi’, Kathleen told Vanity Fair: “The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’.
“Because Harrison was front and centre on VII, and Mark is front and centre on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been.”