On Friday, Disney and Lucasfilm officially unveiled the cast for Star Wars: Episode IX, which starts production on August 1st. Along with returning cast members like Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson and Kelly Marie Tran, the press release also confirmed rumours that Keri Russell has landed a significant role and that Billy Dee Williams will be reprising his role as Lando Calrissian. Two other new names are also on the list: Naomi Ackie (Lady MacBeth) and Richard E. Grant (Withnail & I). The most interesting note, however, is the fact that both Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher will also appear in the film. J.J. Abrams had this to say about Fisher’s inclusion:
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher. 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.”
As for Mark Hamill, it remains to be seen if he will be appearing in physical form or simply as a so-called “Force ghost.” Let the speculation begin. J.J. Abrams is directing the film from a screenplay he co-wrote with Chris Terrio (Argo, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). What do you think about the Star Wars: Episode IX cast and the return of Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher?