It has been three years since the death of Carrie Fisher following the filming of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but her iconic character Leia Organa will continue to live on in the newest addition to the franchise. Answering some of the questions on the next episode, director J.J. Abrams revealed plans for the 2019 release.
Announced in a press release on Friday, Abrams confirmed the return of Princess Leia, but will not recast nor use CGI technology to recreate Fisher, rather use unused footage from the last film.
“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,” Abrams 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.”
Despite “becoming one with the force”, in The Last Jedi film, Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker will return along with Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian. Hamill took to Twitter in response to the announcement, expressing his thoughts on the decision.
It's bittersweet facing my final chapter without her-She is simply irreplaceable. I'm finding solace in the fact that she won't BE replaced & would love the worldwide outpouring of affection from those who loved her when they heard the news.#CarrieOnForever pic.twitter.com/7ueMqBxQwa
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) July 29, 2018
Set for production in London on August 1, the film will also see new cast members including Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. Stay tuned for the release in December 2019.