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Oscar Isaac has been talking about his wide and varied career and naturally the topic of conversation came around to the third and final episode in the sequel trilogy, Star Wars Episode IX which lands 20th December 2019. Isaac discussed the loss of Carrie Fisher, but assured fans that the character of Leia is handled respectfully.

For his part, Isaac promises the still-untitled ninth film will pay appropriate homage to Leia—and to Fisher’s sense of fun. “The story deals with that quite a bit,” he says. “It’s a strange thing to be on the set and to be speaking of Leia and having Carrie not be around. There’s definitely some pain in that.” Still, he says, compared to the first two installments, “there’s a looseness and an energy to the way that we’re shooting this that feels very different.”

“It’s been really fun being back with J.J., with all of us working in a really close way. I just feel like there’s an element of almost senioritis, you know?” he laughs. “Since everything just feels way looser and people aren’t taking it quite as seriously, but still just having a lot of fun. I think that that energy is gonna translate to a really great movie.”

Fisher’s absence is felt keenly on set, Isaac says. As if to reassure us both, however, he reiterates: “It deals with the amazing character that Carrie created in a really beautiful way.”