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It’s been a little over two years since Carrie Fisher passed away, and while Star Wars: The Last Jedi ended up being one of her final film roles, it doesn’t mark the last we’ve seen of Princess/General Leia Organa. Star Wars: Episode IX will use unseen footage from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi to include Fisher, and Mark Hamill, her longtime Star Wars costar, believes that the actress would have approved of getting to appear posthumously in such a highly-anticipated film. As Hamill put it:
I’m glad they found a way to do that, and something tells me that she’d get a real kick out of the fact that she had a hit movie years after she left us, because that was just her. I like to think that would please her, but nothing would be better than having her here.
Mark Hamill’s comment to Den of Geek was preceded by him noting that with Harrison Ford having a prominent role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Hamill himself stepping back into the spotlight for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the plan was for Carrie Fisher to have a bigger role in Star Wars: Episode IX. Those plans are sadly no longer achievable, but thanks to movie-making magic, Leia Organa can still have a presence in the conclusion to the Skywalker Saga. Episode IX will ultimately go down as Fisher’s final film appearance, and as Hamill sees it, she’d appreciate that.
When we last left off with Leia Organa at the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, she was one of the few Resistance survivors that managed to escape being wiped out by The First Order on Crait. Star Wars: Episode IX is picking up a year later, and while we still don’t have any official plot details about the movie, one would imagine that Leia is still the leader of the Resistance. It remains to be seen if Episode IX will kill off Leia or if she’ll survive to the end, but however her story is handled, no doubt many Star Wars fans are glad that it’s being done on-screen as opposed to off.
It’s also worth remembering that this unused footage of Carrie Fisher won’t be the only original Star Wars trilogy representation in Star Wars: Episode IX. Along with Mark Hamill returning as Luke Skywalker (presumably as a Force ghost given how The Last Jedi ended for him) and Anthony Daniels once again donning the C-3PO suit, Episode IX also sees the long-awaited return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, although it’s unclear how big his role will be.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to familiar faces overall in Star Wars: Episode IX. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Kelly Marie Tran, Domhnall Gleeson and Lupita Nyong’o are among the actors reprising their respective roles. As for newcomers, Naomie Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Dominic Monaghan and Matt Smith have all been cast in undisclosed roles.
Directed by J.J. Abrams, who also co-wrote the script with Chris Terrio, Star Wars: Episode IX opens in theaters on December 20, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. In the meantime, look through our 2019 release schedule to find out what other movies are coming out later this year.