Near the end of 2016, Carrie Fisher passed away unexpectedly - a devastating moment for her family, loved ones, and about a billion nerds across the globe, who had been celebrating Fisher's return to her original starmaking role as Leia Organa in the new Star Wars trilogy. Leia's role wasn't HUGE in The Force Awakens, but it was promised her role would be increasingly in following films - something that becomes increasingly obvious after seeing The Last Jedi, wherein Leia is the last surviving member of the original trio (Han, Luke, and Leia). It also seems pretty obvious she would have been set up to be the only person who could redeem Kylo Ren and bring him back towards the light (his one real moment of true 'weakness' was his inability to fire on his mother).

Sadly, whatever plans they may have had for Leia in Episode IX will likely be scrapped and reworked somehow. But interestingly, Leia WILL be in the film somehow - specifically by using old unused footage Carrie Fisher filmed for The Force Awakens. How this old scrapped footage will be utilized with a completely new film after many gamechanging events have taken place remains a mystery - UNTIL NOW:

 How Leia Will Be Worked Into Star Wars Episode IX