The upcoming sequels to Force Awakens will not digitally recreate Princess Leia.  

Hollywood has done it before.  

Terminator: Salvation digitally recreated Swartzenegger’s younger face.  And the latest Star Wars film, Rogue One, digitally recreated Peter Cushing’s character from the 1977 movie.

For its part, Disney- who holds the rights to Star Wars- commented:

“(We) intend to cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she contributed to the franchise.”

Disney probably has enough footage of Ms. Fisher for the next installments which is why they made this bold decision.  

But what if they didn’t have the footage?  Star Wars is a billion dollar franchise.  Carrie Fisher’s legacy wouldn’t stop that money train.  

It brings up the question of posthumous etiquette.  Should Hollywood be allowed to bring any actor back from the dead?

Could we go to the movies in the coming years to see new Bogie or Gene Autry movies?

Further still, what rights does a still-breathing actor have to a projection of themselves?  Obviously there are talent release contracts to use a person’s image.  

But what if an actor bows out of a sequel? Could the studio create a likeness of him/her?

One thing will never change: technology keeps lawyers well paid.