Star Wars: Episode IX Cast Officially Announced; Luke & Leia Return for One Last Time

Filming Will Begin Next Month

The cast of Star Wars: Episode IX was officially announced on Friday and several of the returning characters include Leia Organa, her brother Luke Skywalker, and Lando Calrissian.

Star Wars: Episode IX

The most notable return would have to be Leia’s since her actress in the live-action movies, Carrie Fisher, died back in 2016. This lead to many fans speculating that Leia wouldn’t appear in the ninth episode of the Star Wars saga and that The Last Jedi would be her last on-screen performance as the character. However, Lucasfilm was able to find a way to have Leia appear in what they refer to as “the final installment of the Skywalker saga.”

“The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Lucasfilm explained in their official announcement.

“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” said Episode IX’s director J.J. 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 Carrieā€™s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”

As for Luke and Lando, both will be played by their original actors: Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams, respectively.

Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled to be in theaters in December 2019.