On Friday, July 27th, Lucasfilm announced the cast for Star Wars: Episode IX, the last installment of the Skywalker saga. If you’re thinking, It wouldn’t be a “Star Wars” movie without Carrie Fisher, you’re absolutely right. Which is why the team found a way to include Leia Organa in the final film. The movie’s co-writer and director J.J. Abrams said that Fisher will be included via footage they shot together for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. But before he made the official announcement, Abrams asked a very important person in Fisher’s life for permission: her daughter, Bille Lourd.
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” Abrams said, according to the cast announcement on StarWars.com. “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.”
Fisher passed away in December of 2016 after complications from a heart attack. Her official cause of death was later updated to “undetermined” when the coroner cited that she died from “sleep apnea and a combination of other factors,” including drug use.
And now, we know the full cast for Star Wars: Episode IX.
The actors returning for Episode IX include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Lourd herself. Not to mention veterans Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams.
There will also be some new faces in Star Wars: Episode IX: Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, and Keri Russell. Rumors swirled for weeks that Russell would join the third and final film. And now, it’s official!
Star Wars: Episode IX will begin filming on August 1st, but we’ll have to wait until December of 2019 for the film to hit theaters. Though it will be bittersweet to see Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa one last time, we’re excited to see some new faces on the big screen as well.