Carrie Fisher is gone, but her legacy lives on. The legendary actress, who died at the age of 60 on December 27, 2016, will appear in Star Wars: Episode IX with her daughter Billie Lourd‘s blessing.
As returning director and script cowriter J.J. Abrams revealed in a LucasFilms blog post on Friday, July 27, unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be used for Fisher’s role of Leia Organa. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” Abrams said. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us.”
Abrams also revealed that he had the full support of Fisher’s daughter, who is set to reprise her role as Kaydel Ko Connix. “We were never going to recast, or use a CG character,” he said. “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.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which was dedicated to the late actress, was previously expected to be her last film.
In addition to Fisher and Lourd, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran and Joonas Suotamo will appear alongside original Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams.
New cast members will also be introduced by Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant and Keri Russell.
Filming for Star Wars: Episode IX begins on August 1. The film is scheduled for a December 2019 release.
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