Disney and Lucasfilm have announced the official cast that will appear in Star Wars: Episode IX. And there may be a few surprises for some fans. In addition to the expected return of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, and Kelly Marie Tran, Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels have been tapped to reprise their iconic roles. But perhaps the biggest surprise of them all is that Carrie Fisher will appear via older unused footage from The Force Awakens. More on the story below.
Here’s what was posted on StarWars.com:
“The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” says 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.”
Leia was expected to have a much larger role in Episode IX, but plans for that were axed when the actor passed away unexpectedly before the release of The Last Jedi. It’s unclear how much footage Fisher shot before.
Remaining cast who will also return include Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd, Fisher’s daughter, who will reprise their respective roles. Veteran Star Wars actor Billy Dee Williams will make his first reprisal in the new trilogy as Lando Calrissian.
You guys didn’t think that Luke was really dead, did you? He still has that third lesson to teach Rey. What’s important to note is that Abrams and Chris Terrio (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) are writing the film as the final installment of the Skywalker saga. Which is something many of us speculated considering the many spinoff and side stories that are being created by The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, and by Game Of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss.
And as always, a sequel means that we will be getting new characters. However, cast announcement does not say who Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant will be playing. Grant is perhaps best known for his work in Logan, Game of Thrones, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
But Keri Russell, who would reunite with her Mission: Impossible III director, is missing from this cast confirmation list. It’s not clear if that was intentional or if the casting announcement was premature or if she won’t be in the film at all. Many speculated that Russell would be playing Rey’s drunk junker mother when the announcement was made a few weeks back.