Carrie Fisher Set To Appear In Star Wars: Episode IX
Director J.J. Abrams will incorporate unseen footage of the late actor from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Carrie Fisher is coming back to Star Wars.
The cast for Star Wars: Episode IX has been revealed by Lucasfilm, and the late Fisher is among those set to appear in the conclusion to the Skywalker saga.
Director J.J. Abrams confirmed that unreleased footage of Fisher from 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be used to include her character Leia in the upcoming film.
"We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” Abrams said 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."
Fisher unexpectedly died in late 2016, breaking hearts and bringing fears that Disney would digitally recreate her to complete the Star Wars trilogy, following the CGI inclusion of the late Peter Cushing in standalone film Rouge One.
Abrams said this move comes with the blessing of Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd, who is also set to reappear in the film.
"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," he said.
Other returning cast members include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran and Joonas Suotamo.
Mark Hamill will reprise his iconic role as Luke Skywalker, along with Anthony Daniels as C-3P0, and Billy Dee Williams who will appear as Lando Calrissian for the first time since 1983's Return of the Jedi.
Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant are two new faces joining the cast. It's understood that Keri Russell is also set to appear, despite being absent from the the cast list Lucasfilm released.
News of Fisher's appearance in Episode IX comes after Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy said in April 2017 that the late actor would not be include in the film. It seems however that plans changed when Abrams came on board following Colin Trevorrow's exit in September that same year.
Abrams reportedly rewrote the film's script with screenwriter Chris Terrio, and it appears one of the major adjustments was Fisher's inclusion.
Filming of Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled to begin on August 1 at Pinewood Studios in London, and is slated for release on December 20, 2019.
Feature image: Getty.