J.J. Abrams will once again be taking us to a galaxy far far away and we now know who else will be along for the ride! Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm have announced the cast for what is being called “the final installment of the Skywalker saga.”
Star Wars: Episode IX will feature returning cast members Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd, and introduce new cast members Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, and Keri Russell. We will also see the return of veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams, who will take on the role of Lando Calrissian once more.
Hamill took to twitter to confirm the announcement:
It's finally fine to admit #ImInIX-Billy Dee @realbdw too-which is long overdue (No one's ever really gone) Now only 17 months of "no comment"s when asked about it to avoid revealing details or fueling speculation #SeeYouAroundKids https://t.co/REUTX571c6
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) July 28, 2018
The biggest and happiness announcement for me is confirmation of the return of Carrie Fisher, made possible by previously unreleased footage from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
We desperately loved Carrie Fisher. 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. – J.J. Abrams
Emotions will run high at seeing my beloved General on the big screen once more. I mean, I love Meryl Streep, but I’m very happy the rumors of her replacing Carrie as Leia did not come to fruition. We still don’t have confirmation of what Episode IX has in store for the Skywalker twins and company, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to involve a lot of awesome and a lot of tears.
Star Wars: Episode IX features a screenplay by Abrams and Chris Terrio and a score by John Williams. It will begin filming at London’s Pinewood Studios on August 1, 2018 and is scheduled for release on December 20th, 2019.