Star Wars: Episode IX, directed by JJ Abrams (The Force Awakens), begins filming next week in London, and Lucasfilm has announced the cast introducing old and new faces to the beloved space opera franchise.
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.
"We desperately loved Carrie Fisher," director JJ Abrams said in a statement announcing the line-up. "Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us."
"We have found a way to honour Carrie's legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII."
Hollywood composer John Williams returns to finish what he started in 1977. Williams will have scored all nine movies chronicling the Skywalker saga.
In related news. Comcast has stepped away from bidding for Fox's film and television rights. This paves the way for Disney to buy those assets to bolster its film and television franchises ahead of launching a streaming service worldwide, spearheaded by Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series.
Star Wars: Episode IX rounds off the sequel trilogy in December 2019.