Disney waited until the waning minutes of Friday afternoon to release some major Star Wars news, related to the final installment of “the Skywalker saga.”
The studio announced that the third film of the latest trilogy will begin filming next week, on August 1 (this installment will be directed by J.J. Abrams, from a script he co-wrote with Argo scribe Chris Terrio). But the most intriguing reveal here is that Carrie Fisher will be playing Leia Organa again for this installment, as, per the studio, Abrams will be “using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” (Fisher died in December of 2016.)
Abrams explained in a statement that Fishers daughter, Billie Lourd, who also appears in the franchise, gave her blessing: “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher. Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to re-cast, or use a C.G. character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carries legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
The rest of the cast, includes, as expected: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyongo, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Lourd, as well as Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams who will be reprising their roles from the initial movies. Joining the cast are Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. The film is set to be released in December of 2019, which gives you plenty of time to emotionally prepare for seeing Fisher on-screen one final time.
Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Full ScreenPhotos:Star Wars X rag & bone Collaboration Comes to a Galaxy Not Far Away on December 1stJosh DuboffJosh Duboff is a VF.com senior writer, based in New York, who covers entertainment and culture.