The official site has a surprise for the Star Wars fandom by announcing the start of principal photography for Star Wars: Episode IX and it’s cast.
Star Wars: Episode IX will begin filming at London’s Pinewood Studios on August 1, 2018. J.J. Abrams returns to direct the final installment of the Skywalker saga. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio.
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.
Noticeably absent was the inclusion of Keri Russell who was reported in talks to be in the film. Noticeably absent is Gwendoline Christie, who’s character may have indeed perished in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. There are two new faces for this film, Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant.
Lucasfilm is also to be commended on reporting openly that Carrie Fisher would reprise her role as General Organa by way of previously shot footage.
The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” says 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.”
This is the best possible outcome for the legacy of Carrie Fisher and her contribution to Star Wars. I am insanely happy and relieved about this way forward and that Lucasfilm put it out there front and center. We have also learned in this announcement that the venerable Maestro John Williams will be scoring the film as well.