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Carrie Fisher will return for Star Wars: Episode IX thanks to old footage

Carrie Fisher is getting the Star Wars send off she deserves

In an announcement that will delight Star Wars fans to no end, Variety reported on Friday, July 27 on two major casting developments for Star Wars: Episode IX. The first is a bit of a snooze (The Americans star Keri Russell has finalised her contract and will officially be joining the franchise), but the big news is that Carrie Fisher, who unexpectedly passed away in December 2016 at age 60, will be posthumously returning for the next instalment. It’s been confirmed that previously unused footage of Fisher as Leia Organa will be used for the final film in the Skywalker saga, which began in 1977. That said, any details about the nature of the footage or the way in which Leia Organa will figure into the story is being kept under wraps.  

In a statement released on the official Star Wars website, Episode IX director J.J. Abrams explained why they were bringing Fisher back through the unused footage. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher. 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 have 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 [2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens]”.

Fisher’s appearance in Episode IX is one of two posthumous performances she has scheduled and is set to appear in the upcoming film Wonderwell, too. She is also not the only Star Wars heavy-hitter that has been confirmed to return; on July 9, The Hollywood Reporter announced Billy Dee Williams would be reprising his role as Lando Calrissian.