After months of speculation, it has finally been confirmed that the late Carrie Fisher will reprise her role as Princess Leia one more time. In an announcement made on July 27, Lucasfilms revealed the cast lineup for Star Wars: Episode IX, with Fisher’s name included.
J.J. Abrams is set to return to the director’s chair when the film begins shooting at London’s Pinewood Studios this week on August 1, with Abrams confirming that Fisher will return as Leia Organa. Although past Star Wars films have used CGI to bring back characters played by actors who have died, most famously with Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin, Fisher’s role in the upcoming Star Wars film will use previously shot footage.
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” said Abrams in a statement. “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 honour Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
Welp, the movie is still a year and a half away and we’re already crying.
Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, is also listed as one of the actors returning for Star Wars: Episode IX, along with Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, as well as Joonas Suotamo as Chewy and Anthony Daniels as C-3PO.
New to the Star Wars franchise are actors Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, and Keri Russell.
Fisher’s co-star and close friend Mark Hamill shared his feelings about Fisher’s inclusion in the next Star Wars film, calling the moment ‘bittersweet.’ Yeah, still crying.
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
John Boyega, who plays Finn in the films, also commented on Fisher’s return, using the hashtag #CarrieOnForever. Crying a bit more.
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) July 29, 2018
Not only will fans of the Star Wars series be happy to know that Fisher will be included in the next film, but another fan favourite will also be returning. This month’s cast announcement also included Billy Dee Williams, who, as we all knew anyway, will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian. Hamill celebrated the confirmation of Williams’ return with another tweet, which also included his character’s pledge to Kylo Ren with the hashtag #SeeYouAroundKid.
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
Finally, a break from crying. Now it’s time to wait patiently. Star Wars: Episode IX is set to be released on December 20, 2019.