WARNING: This contains spoilers for The Last Jedi.
It was in December 2016 that Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia, tragically lost her life. The character was slated to be the star of the Episode IX, after Harrison Ford and Luke Skywalker had taken lead roles in the previous two films. The story of the final film in the trilogy had to be dramatically changed in the wake of her death.
Fans however were not ready to let the beloved character go and even petitioned the role to be recast with Meryl Streep, or use CGI to cast Fisher (as had been done in Rogue One). Both options have been ruled out in respect to the actress.
Star Wars however lives on far beyond the films, and Digital Spy claims that a new Star Wars comic gave hints of the character’s fate. The comic takes place directly after the events of The Last Jedi, and in one scene Leia confides to Poe Dameron that the deaths of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, along with her accident in space, weighs heavily on her. The last issue shows just how tired Leia is from fighting, and suggests that she will pass on the leadership soon to someone worthy.
While the death of Carrie Fisher has had a huge mark on the franchise, Star Wars continues to expand. This month a spinoff called Solo: A Star Wars Story was released. It featured the life and exploits of a young Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian.
Star Wars’ spinoffs are an indicator of how Disney is planning to create a cinematic universe like Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Each major Star Wars character has an enormous following, even those that haven’t seen significant screen time in the past like Boba Fett. Star Wars merchandise has always been a huge part of the franchise and fans are as devoted to collecting their favorite characters as they are watching the films. Lottoland reveals that a 70s-era Darth Vader action figure that is still in its original packaging will set someone back $2,370. The massive price tag for Darth Vader’s rare and collectible toy shows how important the franchise continues to be to the fans.
If successful at the box office, Han Solo’s spin off may just lead to other characters getting their own spinoffs. Both Boba Fett and Obi Wan Kernobi have been put forward as likely candidates. Actor Ewan McGregor has said that he would be interested in returning to a galaxy far away. Even in mediums not directly related to the franchise the characters have popped up. This has ranged from TV shows like Family Guy to humorous books showing Darth Vader as a struggling father.
As to whether or not Princess Leia will live on as the commander of the Resistance that is up to the filmmakers. We will have to wait to see what the film canon version of her story is.