Carrie Fisher returns for Star Wars Episode IX.
Yes, you read that correctly. In a stunning announcement this afternoon from Walt Disney Studios Publicity, it was revealed that the film will feature previously unreleased footage of Fisher from Episode VII.
Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us,” J.J. Abrams said in the press release. “We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
It seems Disney definitely had something in going back to Abrams to complete the Skywalker saga, after all.
Returning to the cast are the sequel trilogy standouts Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac. With them will be Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), and Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd.
Joining the cast of Episode IX are Naomi Ackie, a relative newcomer known for her roles in Lady Macbeth and The Five, and Gosford Park actor Richard E. Grant. Interestingly, the release did not list Keri Russell among the cast, despite the widespread rumors she might be playing Legends character Mara Jade.
The release also confirms the rumors that Billy Dee Williams will indeed reprise his role as Lando Calrissian. Rounding out the cast is Anthony Daniels, the ever present C-3PO, and Luke Skywalker himself, all but confirming we’ll be seeing the last Jedi in Force-ghost form.
Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Michelle Rejwan, directed by Abrams, and, of course, scored by John Williams.
The official release date for the final film of the Skywalker Saga is December, 20, 2019.