The highly anticipated ninth installment of the Skywalker Saga is quickly approaching, and today, fans were blessed with an unexpected cast list. The usual suspects of this trilogy were mentioned; Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o, etc. What shocked fans, however, were three names in particular: Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, and Carrie Fisher.
After knowing how Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi ended, it’s interesting that Mark Hamill will be reprising his role as Luke Skywalker. This could be done through either flashbacks or Luke returns as a Force ghost. Either way, Hamill is a great actor to add to the end of the Skywalker tale.
Billy Dee Williams, who has been absent since 1983’s Return of the Jedi. His character, the smooth-talking smuggler turned Rebellion legend, Lando Calrissian, has also been absent from the Star Wars films up until this year. Lando appears in Solo: A Star Wars Story, portrayed by actor, writer, rapper Donald Glover. Williams’ return to his iconic role is a wonderful and welcomed addition to Episode IX.
The final name, Carrie Fisher, stunned fans. Fisher, who portrayed Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars universe, unfortunately and unexpectedly passed away in December of 2016. Her addition to the upcoming film is extremely surprising, as many fans expected her character would have been given an exit off screen between the events of The Last Jedi and Episode IX. Director J.J. Abrams says that Fisher will reprise her role as Princess Leia by using unused footage from 2015’s The Force Awakens, which launched the New Trilogy. Abrams’ had this to say about bringing Princess Leia back:
“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.”
This film will also mark the end of an era. Yes, the Skywalker story will reach it’s conclusion, but Episode IX will also be legendary composer John Williams’ final time scoring a film.