Star Wars petition wants to cast Meryl Streep as Princess Leia

After the loss of Carrie Fisher, some fans believe the acclaimed Oscar-winning actress should step into the pivotal role.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
2 min read

Could Meryl Streep, seen here in "The Post" with Tom Hanks, step in for the late Carrie Fisher?

20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm

No one can truly replace Carrie Fisher, who played Princess and then General Leia Organa in the Star Wars saga. Fisher died at age 60 late in 2016, and filmmakers have already said they won't digitally re-create Fisher's performance in Episode 9, due out in 2019.

But now there's an online petition trying to generate support for recasting Leia's character with Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep. On Friday, more than 7,900 supporters had signed the petition, which is aiming for 8,000 signatures.

"As the fans of Star Wars and Carrie Fisher, we really want Leia to shine in Episode IX and we certainly do not want her to be written out of the film abruptly without a reasonable plot," the petition reads. "Therefore, recasting Leia is a more ideal option for us and we believe that Meryl Streep is an ideal candidate to play Leia."

Online petitions, of course, have no real influence behind the scenes of a multi-million-dollar movie, and this one seems especially pie-in-the-galactic-sky. Streep was a friend of Fisher, and reportedly even sang with Fisher's daughter at the memorial service held at the actress' home after she died. And she carries with her the gravitas and sass Fisher gave Leia. But recasting Fisher could seem like a betrayal of the beloved actress, and it's got to seem an unlikely option even to those who dreamed up the petition.

It remains to be seen how Leia's death will be addressed in the final episode of the space saga. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy told Entertainment Weekly the filmmakers had to "start over" with the final episode after Fisher died, as she was reportedly a huge part of the original script.

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