There is a disturbance in the Force. According to BuzzFeed, some Star Wars fans have started a petition for Meryl Streep to replace Carrie Fisher as Leia in Episode IX. While Streep is quite possibly the most legendary actor working in Hollywood, the idea of anyone playing Leia besides Fisher is hard to deal with. However, the fans who started the petition feel that the late actor would be OK with it — especially if the part went to her close friend.
At the heart of the petition is the argument that Leia shouldn't die off-screen. The petition states,
"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. Therefore, recasting Leia is a more ideal option for us and we believe that Meryl Streep is an ideal candidate to play Leia."
Disney previously confirmed that they would not attempt to digitally recreate Fisher in Episode IX, which leaves the question of how the character could be included up in the air for now. As reported by Movieweb, rumors of Streep potentially replacing Fisher began circulating on the internet earlier this week, but there doesn't appear to be any actual plans to recast Fisher at this stage. In fact, it's unclear whether or not there are any plans to include her in the next film at all.
While the internet seems to be divided over the idea of a recast, if Disney does decide to go that route, Streep would surely be the best choice. After all, she previously played a version of Fisher in the film adaptation of the late star's book, Postcards from the Edge. After that movie, the two women forged a friendship — but that doesn't necessarily mean that Fisher would be OK with someone else taking on her iconic role.
One of the petition's signers wrote, "Writing Leia off of episode IX would be an astounding loss for the saga's conclusion and would not do Carrie's legacy any favors. Meryl Streep, as a highly respected and beloved actress in Hollywood, a vocal feminist, and Carrie's close friend for years, would be the most appropriate choice to crown the franchise in the princess' role."
They're not alone in expressing that sentiment. Currently, the petition has 8,141 signatures. Granted, that's not a universal consensus by any means, but it does illustrate that part of the fandom would at least be open to the possibility of Leia's story continuing in the hands of another actor.
However, the reaction on Twitter isn't quite so positive. Twitter user @dave_schilling wrote, "Oh, did someone order a terrible idea? Well, it's arrived." Meanwhile, @AverageJoeArt added, "Why would fans want Meryl Streep cast as Leia in episode 9? She's a fantastic actress, but Carrie Fisher is iconic as Leia. I get wanting her back, but let the character die in between movies and move on. It's a disservice to Fisher and the character to recast."
If nothing else, the petition has proven once again just how timeless Fisher's performance as Leia is. Whether you would be OK with Streep taking on the role, or find the idea unacceptable, there's no denying the Star Wars fandom wants the best for General Leia Organa — they just can't quite agree on what that is. Ultimately, whether you think that means letting the character go now that Fisher is no longer here to play her, or you're in favor of keeping the princess alive through another actor, the one thing everyone can agree on is that Leia is a legend.