Star Wars Episode IX casting details emerge. Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill both set to return.

In what will come as surprising news given previous reports released earlier this year, Carrie Fisher will return to the Star Wars universe in the J.J. Abrams directed Episode IX. Previously Lucasfilm had claimed that Fisher wouldn’t be returning but apparently this is now not the case with recently releasing the cast list for the upcoming movie, which is set to start filming in London on August 1st.

The actress passed away in December 2016 and her appearance in Episode IX is said to involve previously unused footage of Fisher.

“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” said director J.J. Abrams, who also helmed The Force Awakens. “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 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.”

Another of the franchises “Big Three” stars is also returning in the form of Mark Hamill’s, Luke Skywalker, who was last seen presumably dying at the climax of The Last Jedi. Hamill has remained tight lipped up until now as to whether he would return and was recently spotted clean shaven, which leads to speculation that his iconic character may in fact be returning as a younger looking Force Ghost.

The cast list also finally confirmed the rumours that actor Billy Dee Williams is returning as Lando Calrissian. A younger version of the character was last seen in the prequel/spin off Solo: A Star Wars Story earlier this year, played by Donald Glover.

Other returning cast members from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi are confirmed including: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Anthony Daniels & Kelly Marie Tran, who will reprise her role as Rose. The actress revealed earlier this year that she had been targeted through social media with hateful comments from disgruntled fans who didn’t like her character and that she had subsequently decided to delete her accounts due to some of the hateful comments directed at her. Tran has obviously decided not to let this unpleasant state of affairs affect her return as the character but she’d also obviously have contractual obligations to adhere to.

The report also lists new cast members Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant, although there’s no confirmation of their characters.

Star Wars: Episode IX is currently set for a December 20th 2019 release.