We're approaching the end of an era with the Star Wars franchise. Not only will Episode IX next year be the last installment of the new trilogy Disney and Lucasfilm kicked off in 2015, but it was also be the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga. So it's safe to say that there's a lot riding on Episode IX, and as with every Star Wars movie, there will be plenty of new faces accompanying returning ones. The latest Episode IX casting update reveals that Lost actor Dominic Monaghan is joining the proceedings.

Deadline didn't provide any character details regarding who Dominic Monaghan is playing in Star Wars: Episode IX, but Monaghan is the second actor to join the production who's previously worked with Abrams in a non-Star Wars project, following behind Keri Russell (although Greg Grunberg, who played Snap Wexley in The Force Awakens, implied he'll be brought back as well). Monaghan was previously affiliated with Abrams when he played Charlie Pace on Lost, the ABC series Abrams co-created with Jeffrey Lieber and Damon Lindelof. That said, Monaghan is arguably better known for playing Merry in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, making Star Wars his second billion dollar franchise. Monaghan's other notable credits include X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Mute, Flashforward and Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan.

Lucasfilm loves to keep plot and character details for upcoming Star Wars movies close to the proverbial chest, perhaps more than any other blockbuster franchise. So it may be a while before we learn who Dominic Monaghan is playing in Star Wars: Episode IX, be it a Resistance operative, a First Order officer or someone caught in the middle of the conflict between those two factions. Regardless, Monaghan is another new talent who will get to leave a mark on a galaxy far, far away in Episode IX. Along with him and Keri Russell, the movie's other new actors include Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant.

As for Star Wars: Episode IX's returning performers, they include Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Lupita Nyong'o, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Anthony Daniels and Mark Hamill. Billy Dee Williams will also reprise Lando Calrissian in his first film appearance as the character since Return of the Jedi, and unused footage of Carrie Fisher from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi will allow Leia Organa to be involved in the story. In addition to directing Episode IX (replacing Colin Trevorrow), J.J. Abrams also worked on the script with Chris Terrio, while John Williams will return as composer, a job he's carried out for all the main Star Wars movies.

Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. If you're interested in learning what other Star Wars movies are coming down the pipeline, look through our handy guide.

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