So far, we’ve heard nothing but rumors about the Star Wars: Episode IX cast, but now the official cast list has finally been announced. It’s full of returning faves, plus some exciting newcomers.

J.J. Abrams is back to direct the next film, which still doesn’t have an official title of course, along with him the rest of the galaxy’s favorite heroes and villains. Lucasfilm announced on Friday that Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran (yay!), Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd will all be back for Episode IX. The studio also officially confirmed Billy Dee Williams will be back to reprise his Lando Calrissian. The only two newcomers announced include British actress Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth) and Richard E. Grant, but interestingly there’s no mention of the rumored Keri Russell. However there are a couple especially interesting surprises in the release: Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.

As we all know from The Last Jedi  – and spoiler alert, but c’mon, who hasn’t seen it a dozen times? – it was pretty clear Hamill’s Luke died in the climactic finale. But hey, the Force works in mysterious ways so apparently he’ll be back. The announcement also revealed that the new movie will include General Leia, but don’t worry, there won’t be any silly CGI Leia nonsense. Fisher’s appearance in the sequel will be comprised of previously unreleased footage shot for The Force Awakens, interestingly enough. Here’s what Abrams said about including Leia in the new movie:

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. 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.

The Abrams film, co-written by him and Chris Terrio, kicks off production at Pinewood Studios on August 1. The announcement also revealed John Williams will be back to once again score the film. Star Wars: Episode IX arrives on December 20, 2019.

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