The casting announcement for Star Wars Episode IX made a lot of waves last week, but among the buzz was nearly lost the fact that some new actors will be joining the franchise. While fans were mostly interested in Episode IX plans for Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, the announcement also revealed that Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, and Naomi Ackie were joining the film. As production on the new film gets underway, John Boyega posted an image of himself welcoming one of his new castmates to the galaxy far, far, away.
Of course, while we know Naomi Ackie has a role in Star Wars Episode IX, that's about all that we know. The casting announcement gave no indication of the sort of role Ackie would be playing, and as a newcomer who, by far, is now involved in the biggest film project of her career, we don't have a lot to go on that would give us much of a hint as to what sort of role she'll be playing.
What we can assume, or at least suggest, from the fact that Naomi Ackie and her two new co-stars were called out by name in the casting announcement is that they will likely all be playing important supporting characters. When a similar announcement went out promoting the production start of Star Wars: The Last Jedi the new names on it were Laura Dern, Benicio del Toro, and Kelly Marie Tran. All three played roles that were important to The Last Jedi, though only Tran has been announced as returning for Episode IX. I'm fairly certain Laura Dern won't be back.
Naomi Ackie and Kelly Marie Tran would seem to have more than a little in common as Tran was also mostly unknown before her casting in the last Star Wars movie. While we knew the least about the actress going in, a few details on her character Rose were revealed prior to the film's release, so perhaps we'll get something similar happening with Naomi Ackie down the road, perhaps at next year's Star Wars Celebration.
Ackie's next major project is a role in Yardie, the upcoming film directed by Idris Elba.
At this point, John Boyega is an old hand at the Star Wars game, having made two movies already. While we remember that it wasn't all that long ago when he was the nervous new guy flipping out on board the Millennium Falcon, now it's his job to welcome the newcomers and help them adjust to becoming part of the biggest film brand in the universe.
While we don't expect a lot of official details about Star Wars Episode IX for months to come, the rumor mill is likely gearing up to be in full force for the next year and a half.