Star Wars: BB-8 Returning For 'Episode IX'

While Star Wars fans don't know a great deal about the upcoming Episode IX, they can at least [...]

While Star Wars fans don't know a great deal about the upcoming Episode IX, they can at least breathe a sigh of relief that the lovable BB-8 will be making a return.

BB-8 is the adorable rollerball droid that debuted in J.J. Abrams Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and thanks to his puppeteer we now know he'll be making a return in Star Wars: Episode IX.

"1st shooting day for the little guy! So excited to be 'rolling' once again with @jjabrams and all the gang far, far away! Here's to a fantastic shoot. #StarWars #IX #BB8 #puppeteer."

While no one will ever replace R2-D2, BB-8 has been able to carve out a place for himself in the Star Wars universe rather quickly, and it's nice to know that will continue in the next film.

As for R2-D2, the popular droid has had less of a presence in the new trilogy than he did in the originals. Fans did get to see him light up once more in Star Wars: The Last Jedi in a reunion with Luke Skywalker, and hopefully we'll see more of him yet again in Episode IX.

Other returning cast members for Star Wars: Episode IX 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 and Richard E. Grant, 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.

As for the role of Leia Organa, it 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."

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.

Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019.

Are you excited to see BB-8 return? Let us know in the comments!