We now know who we’ll be watching in the ninth main Star Wars instalment, and you may be in for the odd surprise.

OK, we’ll reveal it now – listed amongst the cast is Carrie Fisher. Previously unreleased footage of the late actress shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be used to keep Leia alive onscreen. On the move, director JJ Abrams explained how the producers felt that it was needed.

“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” said Abrams. “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 honour Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”

Here’s Mark Hamill’s reaction to the news…

As for the rest of the casting, as well as Carrie Fisher those returning to Star Wars include Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels.

Joining in for the first time will be a favourite of ours, Richard E Grant, along with Keri Russell (as rumoured for a while now) and Naomi Ackie (who’s appeared in one episode of Doctor Who, and not a lot else).

Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to woosh into cinemas in December 2019.

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