The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: Episode IX cast announced, includes Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams



Star Wars: Episode IX will begin filming at London’s Pinewood Studios on August 1, 2018. J.J. Abrams returns to direct the final installment of the Skywalker saga. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio.

Returning cast members include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd. Joining the cast of Episode IX are Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, and Keri Russell, who will be joined by veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams, who will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian.

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.”

Composer John Williams, who has scored every chapter in the Star Wars saga since 1977’s A New Hope, will return to a galaxy far, far away with Episode IX.

Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Michelle Rejwan, and executive produced by Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin. The crew includes Dan Mindel (Director of Photography), Rick Carter and Kevin Jenkins (Co-Production Designers), Michael Kaplan (Costume Designer), Neal Scanlan (Creature and Droid FX), Maryann Brandon and Stefan Grube (Editors), Roger Guyett (VFX Supervisor), Tommy Gormley (1st AD), and Victoria Mahoney (2nd Unit Director).

Release is scheduled for December 2019.”


  • Cryogenic

    I’m pleased to read about Billy Dee Williams. We don’t know about his health problems and other ins-and-outs, but I thought it was a mistake — or, at the very least, unfortunate — he was left out of “The Force Awakens”. Even Admiral Ackbar and Nien Nunb got put in. And there were certainly enough X-Wings and TIE Fighters and “real desert” sand grains and all the rest of it to make Lando’s absence, well… jarring, to say the least. Maybe he got caught up in that Ewok village and never quite had it in his heart to leave all those years. The rest? Okay. Feels like a big homecoming/victory lap might be on the cards. We’ll have to see. I’m not sure they’re any longer constructing mythology. Maybe ornithology or porgology. But again, we’ll have to see.

    • Moose

      Cyro – we’ll have to see is right. I sort of feel like a moth to a flame when it comes to these new movies. I go and see them, hoping for the mythological bent that Lucas brought to the blockbuster world, but in the end I mostly wish I hadn’t gone at all. Then I pick myself up, dust myself off and go to the next one only to be disappointed again. Maybe Eps I through VI are sort of like The Beatles – they are so good that they could only exist in a short run (six movies for Lucas, eight years for the Fab Four).

      • Alexrd

        @Moose I wouldn’t feel good if I knew I financially helped support what they are doing. They lost me when they said (actually, Lucas revealed it first) they decided to discard Lucas’ stories.

      • Cryogenic

        Ah, Moose! “Moth to the flame” is right. Or a moose to the alligator-infested river? I love that.

        It’s funny you also make a Beatles analogy. J.J. Abrams actually compared the original movie to The Beatles one time — saying how remarkable and uncanny it is that Lucas got so many elements right, from basic visual presentation, to story, to script, to plotting, to casting, to sound design, art direction, energy, mood, and, of course (no small thanks to John Williams himself), the music. But really, when I read that, and ever since, I immediately thought: “Great analogy, but misplaced”. The proper comparison would surely be with all six of Lucas’ labours (which, of course, a person like Abrams would never make).

        After all, The Beatles put out a string of tightly-woven, epically-received singles and albums, changing dramatically as they progressed in their art and powers of expression, did they not? And never without forgetting or failing to find a place for a good degree of whimsy and farce. But while they were always feted, no matter what they did, or how hard they pushed things; only ONE HALF of what Lucas did got (relatively) glowing acceptance. The Beatles’ experimental side was embraced; Lucas’ was (largely) mocked and dismissed. And now many of those genius elements are reduced or gone — sacrificed for profit and glory in the here and now.

      • Moose

        Cryo strikes again- So I think you are saying that early Beatles (“Love Me Do”, ect.) corresponds to the OT, later Beatles (“Sgt Pepper” and beyond) is like the PT, and so that means that Abrams/Kennedy are some sort of cover band.

      • Cryogenic

        Moose — Thank you! You have drawn the proper inference. A cover band leaning more on the early stuff; and acting like the other stuff is inherently inferior and a tragic abandonment of principles. Or, let’s be honest, too complex and too difficult for the masses; and too abstract and genius for them to pull off.

        But that analogy “feels” wrong because, again, The Beatles were hailed for everything they did; while Lucas was shunned, mocked, reviled, and reduced to simplistic dimensions, as if he merely got lucky and never had anything particularly interesting to say, or ever formulated an elegant means of expressing it, to begin with.

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