Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t seen The Last Jedi, though, if you still haven’t at this point, what are you even doing reading casting announcements for the next one?
No one ever really dies in the Star Wars universe. The official cast list for Star Wars: Episode IX has been posted, and it features some familiar, intriguing names. Along with the long-awaited return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando, Carrie Fisher is listed among the names.
Fisher sadly passed away in late-2016, of course, but Princess Leia Organa will be returning for one last film. Rather than recreating the character with CGI, however, director/co-writer J.J. Abrams will be resurfacing unseen footage from The Force Awakens.
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” Abrams said in a press release tied to the announcement. “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], 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.”
Rogue One, of course, took a slightly uncanny valley approach to recreating a young Leia with actress Ingvild Deila and a little bit of the old Industrial Light & Magic.
Also returning is Mark Hamill. Given how things worked out for him during The Last Jedi, however, it’s hard to say if he’ll be doing so as a translucent blue ghost. We’ll have to wait until December 2019 to know for sure.
Cast members Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran and Joonas Suotamo will be returning, as well.