The wounds are fresh. We just found out that the world lost Carrie Fisher mere hours ago. As sad as everyone is, there is a question that’s starting to gnaw away at the back of every fan’s mind. What will happen to Star Wars? Fisher’s Princess Leia is a pivotal character in the new trilogy, and there is a legitimate concern over what will happen, now that she has passed.

The first thing you need to know is that Star Wars: Episode VIII has finished filming. Rian Johnson completed principal photography earlier this year, and the movie is well into post-production. We don’t know much about the story, but given that Leia is now the leader of the entire rebellion, and her son is the current big bad, you’d have to imagine that her role in episodes VIII and VIX were only going to get bigger.

Some people have already taken to social media, warning Lucasfilm and Disney that they’d better not recreate her like they did with her and Peter Cushing in Rogue One. I don’t think this is something that you have to worry about. They understand that the wound is too fresh and there’s no way that fans would stand for it.

Some have suggested that she be re-cast, like they did with Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films. Fans have even gone as far as to suggest singer/ actress Stevie Nicks, as she bares a resemblance to fisher. Again, I just don’t see this happening.

My thoughts and hopes on the future of Star Wars and how they will deal with the passing of Carrie Fisher are as follows. First, I’m sincerely hoping that Luke and Leia were given a chance for a proper reunion in Episode VIII. It will be truly sad if that is something that will never get to happen. Second, you can’t replace Carrie Fisher. It just isn’t possible and trying to do so would create a tremendous rift between the studio and the fans. As sad as it is to say this, General Leia has to die. If they are able to do it in reshoots that enhance the story of Episode VIII, that would be ideal. If it has to wait and serve as an inciting incident for Episode VIX, that could also work.

Fans going to the next two films, know that Carrie Fisher is no long with us. Giving her a hero’s death that helps drive the story forward is really the only thing that will rally them. Maybe Kylo Ren does to her what he did to his father. Maybe Rey goes dark and it becomes an act of ultimate betrayal against Luke, forcing Kylo Ren back to the lightside. I don’t know the answer. I just know that it’s the only path. Anything else would be madness.