The official cast announcements have been made – and Carrie Fisher WILL appear in Star Wars: Episode IX.
All the expected actors will return, and as expected, Billy Dee Williams will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian. Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant are also joining the cast, along with Keri Russell, who was expected to appear but was left off the list because she hadn’t finished the paperwork. Filming begins August 1st at Pinewood Studios in London.
Fisher, who died in 2016, will appear as Leia by using unsused footage from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” said 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 [Lourd, who has appeared in the last two films alongside her mother], 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.” In addition to Lourd’s approval, Fisher’s brother Todd Fisher said he “couldn’t be more personally thrilled and happy that our Carrie will reprise her role as Princess Leia in the new and final Star Wars Episode IX using previously unreleased footage of her shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Mark Hamill also weighed in on Twitter, “It’s bittersweet facing my final chapter without her-She is simply irreplaceable. I’m finding solace in the fact that she won’t BE replaced & would love the worldwide outpouring of affection from those who loved her when they heard the news.”
It's bittersweet facing my final chapter without her-She is simply irreplaceable. I'm finding solace in the fact that she won't BE replaced & would love the worldwide outpouring of affection from those who loved her when they heard the news.#CarrieOnForever pic.twitter.com/7ueMqBxQwa
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) July 29, 2018