Star Wars Episode IX will have Carrie Fisher as Leia

Lucasfilm today announced the cast for Star Wars Episode IX which is set to start filming next week.

Amongst the cast news was confirmation of how Leia Organa will be handled after the tragic loss of Carrie Fisher in december 2016. J. J. Abrams will use previously unreleased footage of Carrie Fisher filmed for The Force Awakens to allow for Leia to live on in Episode XI.

Fans have speculated over how Disney and Lucasfilm would handle Carrie Fishers passing for Episode IX but using unreleased footage will likely be the option that pleases most fans. Many were worried that they might recast the iconic role or perhaps write her out of the story with an explanation in the opening crawl.

For me personally it is great to hear that Carrie Fisher’s legacy as Leia will live on in Episode IX, even if it’s a limited role due to the footage.

We also received confirmation that Mark Hamill will be returning as well as fan favourite Billy Dee Williams who will be reprising his role as Lando Calrissian.

Lucasfilm’s statement on their website reads

Star Wars: Episode IX will begin filming at London’s Pinewood Studios on August 1, 2018. J.J. Abrams returns to direct the final installment of the Skywalker saga. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio.

Returning cast members include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd. Joining the cast of Episode IX are Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant, who will be joined by veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams, who will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian.

The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” says Abrams. “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.”

Composer John Williams, who has scored every chapter in the Star Wars saga since 1977’s A New Hope, will return to a galaxy far, far away with Episode IX.

Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Michelle Rejwan, and executive produced by Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin. The crew includes Dan Mindel (Director of Photography), Rick Carter and Kevin Jenkins (Co-Production Designers), Michael Kaplan (Costume Designer), Neal Scanlan (Creature and Droid FX), Maryann Brandon and Stefan Grube (Editors), Roger Guyett (VFX Supervisor), Tommy Gormley (1st AD), and Victoria Mahoney (2nd Unit Director).

Release is scheduled for December 2019. All Star Wars, all the time.

How do you feel about Lucasfilm using unreleased footage of Carrie Fisher to allow Leia to be in Episode IX?

Let me know in the comments.

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