Carrie Fisher's death at the end of 2016 is something that hit fans right in the gut all across the globe. Set to be one of the most prominent stars in the new 'Star Wars' movies, plans for the franchise were thrown into disarray and production was set back. Those working behind-the-scenes didn't want to go ahead with stories that put General Leia Organa front and centre without the lady herself being there to play her, so re-writes and all sorts of changes were made.

Carrie Fisher in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'Carrie Fisher in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

In life, Fisher was very vocal about wanting to be a big part of the 'Star Wars' story moving forward; especially so when she's been a massive character and one of the main reasons the series has done so well throughout history. Though her death stopped that from happening, her co-star Mark Hamill - who plays Luke Skywalker - has said that those at LucasFilm have done everything in their power to give her the best send off possible.

Speaking during a fan event at this past weekend's New York Comic Con, Hamill promised that a satisfying end would come for Leia's character in the franchise's ninth episodic instalment. The actor also said that we'd all love how she factored into the story set to be told later this year in 'The Last Jedi'. 

He explained: "You’re going to really love her in [The Last Jedi]. I know they’re going to try and find a way to close her story in [Episode IX] that gives her the respect she deserves, because [Han Solo] was more prominent in [The Force Awakens], Luke’s a little more prominent in [The Last Jedi], and certainly Leia was meant to be more prominent in [Episode IX]. Worldwide, everyone feels that gap she left, but we all have to hang in there."

It's going to be interesting to see exactly how things work out when 'The Last Jedi' comes to the big screen, but to know that Leia's presence (and in turn, Fisher's) will be felt throughout the entirety of this new trilogy is certainly promising. Though her presence may not be physical, Leia will forever be a major part of the 'Star Wars' franchise. We imagine that's exactly what Fisher would have wanted.

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'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' is set for release in UK cinemas on December 15, 2017, with 'Episode IX' scheduled to drop two years later in December 2019.