Carrie Fisher was an icon. While early in her career she may have been best known for a cinnamon-bun hairstyle, these days she’s known as a feminist hero, a candid memoirist, and someone who was always ready to give the finger to the establishment.
But while Fisher had a varied career, Princess Leia was always her best-known character. Which is why Star Wars fans were thrilled when, in 2015, she reprised the role, appearing in the newest spate of Star Wars films as the princess-turned-badass-general who was leading rebel forces against a tyrannical new military power. And while (spoiler alert!) not all of the OG Star Wars characters survived the battle, the tough and tactical Leia made it through unscathed.
Which means that now filmmakers must decide: will Leia’s story go on, or will the role die with Fisher?
Fans who want to see Leia’s character continue in the franchise have come up with their own solution to the problem. Their idea? Replace one icon with another. Yes, they want to give the role to none other than Meryl Streep.
An online petition arguing that Meryl Streep should play Leia has now received over 10,000 signatures.
“Meryl Streep has always been known as the greatest actress alive,” the petition reads. “Apart from her acclaimed acting performances, her close relationship with Carrie Fisher and her performance in POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE also made her an ideal candidate to play Leia in STAR WARS Episode IX.”
Meryl Streep and Carrie Fisher pic.twitter.com/Ie5BD7YI8j
— skywalker (@tolkienianjedi) March 5, 2018
It may be hard to imagine Streep in space, commanding fleets of X-wings, but it is true that she has, in a sense, played Fisher before. Her role as Suzanne Vale in Fisher’s film Postcards From the Edge was said to be based on Fisher herself.
However, whether Leia will be recast remains to be seen. In an interview, Mark Hamill (who plays Luke Skywalker, Leia’s brother) said that while Episode IX would have featured Leia prominently, when Fisher died, the filmmakers had to redevelop the plot, going back to “square one.” He also noted that the role of Leia is so linked with Fisher as a person that it’s hard to imagine her played by another actor.
“[S]he’s irreplaceable, as far as I’m concerned,” he concluded.
But whether Meryl becomes the next Leia or not, it’s hard not to love the enthusiasm behind the petition, which shows a deep love for all things Star Wars. Its final line: “May the force be with Carrie Fisher, Meryl Streep and Princess Leia.”