It's been almost a year since Carrie Fisher's untimely death. She died shortly after Star Wars: The Last Jedi completed filming, meaning her final role on the big screen will be as the character that made her a household name.

Leia Organa's story was intended to continue in Star Wars 9 - the new film's untitled follow-up set for release in December 2019. However her story, at least on the big screen, will come to an end in The Last Jedi.

It was confirmed following Fisher's death that the iconic character would not be recast, and CGI would not be used to recreate the actor's likeness for the sequel.

The Last Jedi was not altered in the wake of her death, so where does that leave Leia's character, and how does the Star Wars universe wave goodbye to the legendary actor?

Warning: major spoilers follow.

The Last Jedi takes place in the immediate aftermath of The Force Awakens, with the First Order chasing down the remnants of the Resistance.

The first two acts of the film are an extended chase sequence as Supreme Leader Snoke's enormous ship slowly catches up with and destroys the last remaining Resistance ships.

During an initial attack it looks as though Leia dies after TIE Fighters blow a hole in the side of her vessel and she is sucked out into the vacuum of space. However, in the first instance of Leia using the force to her advantage, or to communicate with others, she flies back to safety.

Afterwards, however, she is gravely wounded and spends much of the film recovering. In her stead Laura Dern's Vice Admiral Holdo steps up to lead, much to the chagrin of Oscar Isaac's firebrand Poe Dameron.

Leia's character arc in this film is about preparing for her succession, and shaping Poe into a future leader. She sets this in motion before the attack sends her to the medbay, after Poe's hubris leads to a successful but costly mission.

Carrie Fisher Leia Star Wars Last Jedi
Carrie Fisher as Leia in The Last Jedi. LucasFilm

After Holdo takes charge, Poe hatches a plan with Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) to save the main Resistance ship. It ultimately fails, and Poe learns a lesson as Holdo sacrifices herself to save the escape pods being picked off by the First Order.

Later, on Crait, Poe chooses not to charge into battle but to save what remains of the Resistance. When he decides what they need to do, characters look to Leia, but here she essentially passes the baton to Poe, even if he does not immediately supplant her.

Leaving a vacuum

Leia survives the film. The Last Jedi sets up a newer, more youthful leadership for the Resistance, but Leia remains. It seems inevitable that Episode 9 will be forced to kill the character offscreen and between films.

Leia's death does not need to be dramatic but it should be central to the next film's story. It will leave a vacuum and force the youthful Resistance members to truly step up. Her death will also affect Kylo Ren, who ends the film more alone than he HAs ever been.

When the credits roll, there Is also a dedication to the late star. It reads: "In loving memory of our princess, Carrie Fisher."

Star Wars Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher in costume for a Star Wars Vanity Fair cover shoot. Vanity Fair