With Disney's official Star Wars: Episode IX casting announcement comes the news that Carrie Fisher will be returning for the final movie in the trilogy as Leia.
Carrie Fisher passed away in December of 2016 after suffering a heart attack while travelling on a plane from London to LA, returning from filming her latest season of Amazon's Catastrophe. It was unclear and even said Carrie Fisher and Leia wouldn't be featured in Star Wars: Episode IX, as Disney didn't want to do a digital recreation or use another actress, but now we see they have found a way to include Leia through deleted footage that J.J. Abrams shot in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The press release dates: The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” says 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 honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
In addition to Carrie Fisher returning for Star Wars Episode IX, original Star Wars actor Mark Hamill will be back from Star Wars: The Last Jedi as Luke Skywalker, as well as Anthony Daniels back as C3-PO, and Billy Dee Williams is officially confirmed to reprise as Lando Calrissian.
Carrie Fisher first appeared as Princess Leia back in 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, with it revealed in The Force Awakens that she and Han Solo had a son, Ben Solo, who went on to become the villain, Kylo Ren. Fisher most recently appeared as Leia in The Last Jedi, which saw her use The Force to overcome death in outer space.
Star Wars: Episode IX has a December 2019 release date and begins filming this coming Wednesday.