Star Wars fans have begun a petition to get Disney to hire an Oscar-winning actress to play Princess Leia in Star Wars: Episode IX.
The petition, which has reached 8971 signatures, calls on Disney, LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director JJ Abrams to replace the late Carrie Fisher with Meryl Streep.
The petition describes Streep as an “ideal candidate” to replace Fisher, 60, who died in December 2016 after suffering a severe cardiac arrest.
Some of the diehard Star Wars fans asked the film’s creators to hire “one of the greatest actresses alive” instead of killing off the beloved character.
“With three Oscar wins and 20 nominations (probably 21 by next year’s), her achievement in acting has long been recognised,” it read.
“Apart from her acclaimed acting performances, her close relationship with Carrie Fisher and her performance in Postcards From The Edge (which Fisher wrote) also made her an ideal candidate to play Leia in Star Wars Episode IX.
“As 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.”
Fans also commented on the petition expressing their support for the idea, with one saying Streep “would do justice to Leia”.
However, others said it would be “disrespectful” to replace Fisher in the role that she made iconic.
Princess Leia was said to be the centre of the plot for Episode: IX, but was rewritten after Fisher’s death.
Star Wars producers have said they would not digitally recreate Fisher for future movies, after she posthumously appeared in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release in December 2019.