Disney and Lucasfilm have confirmed the cast for Star Wars: Episode IX will include Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa. According to the official announcement, Fisher will be seen in the film in previously unused footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” stated director J.J. Abrams. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. 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.”
Additional returning cast members include Daisy Ridley as Rey, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca, and Billie Lourd as Lieutenant Connix. The studio also confirmed Mark Hamill returns as Luke Skywalker, Anthony Daniels will be back as C-3PO, and Billy Dee Williams reprises his role as Lando Calrissian.
New to the sci-fi franchise set in a galaxy far, far away are Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, and Keri Russell.
Abrams directs what’s described as the “final installment of the Skywalker saga.” Abrams also co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio and will produce Episode IX with Kathleen Kennedy and Michelle Rejwan. Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin are executive producing.
The film’s behind the scene team includes Dan Mindel (Director of Photography), Rick Carter and Kevin Jenkins (Co-Production Designers), Michael Kaplan (Costume Designer), Neal Scanlan (Creature and Droid FX), Maryann Brandon and Stefan Grube (Editors), Roger Guyett (VFX Supervisor), Tommy Gormley (1st AD), and Victoria Mahoney (2nd Unit Director). John Williams is back on board as the film’s composer.
Filming will take place at London’s Pinewood Studios beginning on August 1, 2018. Disney’s targeting a December 2019 theatrical release for Star Wars: Episode IX.