Lucasfilm Ltd. have released a statement addressing rumours that they were pursuing the rights to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher's likeness in future Star Wars films.
The rumours went that Disney and Lucasfilm Ltd. were negotiating with Fisher's estate, possibly for permission to use her digitised likeness as a stand-in in future Star Wars films, in much the same way they acquired permission from Peter Cushing's estate for use of his likeness as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One.
The rumours compounded an already murky ethical conversation concerning the use of dead actors' likenesses in films without their direct consent in a kind of morbid act of evocation. This writer was himself extremely uncomfortable with the ethical implications of Peter Cushing's digital resurrection in Rogue One, even as it worked quite well within the context of the film itself. The idea that Disney and Lucasfilm would go ahead with similar plans so quickly after Fisher's passing was irksome at best.
Yesterday, Lucasfilm Ltd. released a statement on StarWars.com in an attempt to allay these fears:
While this hopefully lays to rest the rumours, it still speaks to the very odd move-making landscape we find ourselves in, where the idea that an actor's image can be recreated so thoroughly as to be almost uncanny, even after their death, is an entirely plausible one. If this trend continues, will we find ourselves inundated with films "starring" long-dead giants of film, continuing to endlessly pillage the glory days of films past, placing ourselves even further into a kind of arrested development when it comes to our entertainment? Perhaps this writer is being a little over-dramatic, and perhaps Lucasfilm's current stance will ensure a greater ethical consideration of this technology in future. We'll have to wait and see.