StarWars.com just announced the new cast of Star Wars: Episode IX. Some interesting parts reveal that Carrie Fisher will be back as General Leia using previously filmed materials. Billy Dee Williams is returning as Lando Calrissian and Mark Hamill will return as Luke Skywalker. At SDCC this year, I could not escape the news that Luke Skywalker was back in IX so it is nice to have it out there already.  But Carrie coming back in this way is the real surprise.

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.

New cast memember Naomi Ackie was in Doctor Who in 2015 and the 2016 film Lady MacBeth. Richard E. Grant you might have seen in Logan as Dr. Rice and in HBO’s Game of Thrones as Izembaro. These could be interesting and huge roles or they could be rather minor. Interestingly, the role rumored to be played by Kerri Russell is not listed here so maybe that didn’t pan out or maybe it is being kept slightly under wraps on the official level. (Update: they just added Keri Russell). It’s also interesting to note that DJ and Phasma played by Del Toro and Christie are not listed.

Now it reads:

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, Richard E. Grant, and Keri Russell, 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.

 

J.J. Abrams is using footage shot from The Force Awakens to give us another film with General Leia and that’s amazing. There may have been footage shot showing her being a general as well as some potential rumored flashback stuff that was cut from the film that might find its way into the film. It makes me wonder if they shot anything where Leia and Kylo spoke?

Abrams on General Leia:

“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.”

The film is still being written by Chris Terio and J.J. Abrams. John Williams is back and that’s very nice to hear. While it was expected, every film we get with John Williams is a treat as he can retire at any time so it is a relief to hear he’s still doing the film. Of course it is amazing to have J.J. Abrams back as well.

The crew:

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).

What is really interesting is they are calling this the final installment of the Skywalker Saga. While anything can happen, it does imply that to them this is the end of the Skywalker series and those new trilogies we’re getting down the road are how we’ll experience larger Star Wars stories in the future.

Episode IX

Filming officially begins August 1st, 2018.

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