Well, at long last, we have come to the end of the Skywalker story, at least according to the recent casting announcement released by Lucasfilm about ‘Episode IX.’
The statement not only reveals that they are indeed referring to the film as “the final installment of the Skywalker saga,’ which seemingly confirms once and for all that Rey is not linked to the family of the “chosen one” (if you assume they still plan to make films with her character post-‘Episode IX’ as Kathleen Kennedy has hinted at before), but also reveals that Princess/ General Leia will have a part to play in the film, thanks to some left-over footage that JJ Abrams had from ‘ The Force Awakens.’ It almost makes one wonder whether they brought JJ Abrams back because he knew about that footage of Carrie Fisher and was the only one with a plan about how to keep her character involved in the film after her death without having to use CGI or recast her. The casting notice also confirmed the addition of Billy Dee Williams to the movie, which we were pretty certain about before, but it is still nice to know for sure.
Here’s the full casting announcement by Lucasfilm, check it out for yourself and then feel free to share your thoughts on all the news in the comments below!
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.
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.”
Composer John Williams, who has scored every chapter in the Star Wars saga since 1977’s A New Hope, will return to a galaxy far, far away with Episode IX.
Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Michelle Rejwan, and executive produced by Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin.
The crew includes Dan Mindel (Director of Photography), Rick Carter and Kevin Jenkins (Co-Production Designers), Michael Kaplan (Costume Designer), Neal Scanlan (Creature and Droid FX), Maryann Brandon and Stefan Grube (Editors), Roger Guyett (VFX Supervisor), Tommy Gormley (1st AD), and Victoria Mahoney (2nd Unit Director).
Release is scheduled for December 2019.