Prepare yourselves, the return to a galaxy far far away is now closer than ever. J.J. Abrams shared a bittersweet first image on Twitter as production on Star Wars: Episode IX has officially begun. Bittersweet because Carrie Fisher, who passed away in 2016, will not be there for this final film of the current trilogy & Skywalker family saga.
While Fisher is not there to be a presence on the set, she will be part of the concluding story of this trilogy. Announced with the cast of the film, it was revealed that unused footage from the Abrams directed 2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” said 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 Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
The returning cast for the film includes Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Sutotamo, Billie Lourd, Anthony Daniels and the confirmed return to the franchise of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian. They will be joined by newcomers Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant.
Written by Abrams and Chris Terrio, Star Wars: Episode IX is set for a December 2019 release.