Lucasfilm released a statement today that answered two of fans' biggest questions about Episode IX: how will Carrie Fisher's absence be handled and will Mark Hamill make an appearance?
"We desperately loved Carrie Fisher," director J.J. Abrams confirmed in the announcement. "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."
The statement also confirmed that Hamill would be returning, despite his character's death in The Last Jedi. It's still unclear how large a part he would have in the film, though, given his inclusion in the announcement, his part will likely be more than just a cameo.
Scroll down to see how excited fans are about Fisher and Hamill returning for Episode IX, landing in theaters December 2019!
Oh you know, just crying in the grocery store parking lot reading the news that Carrie Fisher footage will bring #StarWarsIX to give us closure.— Donna Dickens (@MildlyAmused) July 27, 2018
I have to admit I'm really happy to hear that Carrie Fisher footage will be used in the next #StarWars movie. It felt like Han got his moment in VII, Luke in VIII, and Leia was supposed to in #StarWarsIX. In these times especially we all need as much Leia Organa as we can get— Mia Brett ?? (@QueenMab87) July 27, 2018
One More Time
i’m actually crying at the fact that i get to see carrie fisher on the big screen as leia once more. it’s what she wanted and it’s actually happening oh mygodd.
i’m having a crisis of joy pic.twitter.com/e5pa68SE1W— alexis (@lukeorgana) July 27, 2018
Omfg. Carrie Fisher will once again play Lea Organa and be in Star Wars episode 9.— ? Isabella Cigno ? (@IsabellaCigno) July 27, 2018
Carrie Fisher returning as Leia in Star Wars Episode IX via unseen footage from The Force Awakens is the perfect news to hear after a looooooong week.— Adam Best (@adamcbest) July 27, 2018
And the fact that they're announcing Mark Hamill in the official press release means he'll have a bigger role than just a force ghost cameo. Bring on the Luke/Ben interactions!! pic.twitter.com/8mXvuFa9Zm— Evan (@HarrisHarrisev9) July 27, 2018
everyone: they're gonna smuggle mark hamill onto set for ix in top secrecy— ikra (@dunwaIl) July 27, 2018
jj abrams: so anyway mark hamill is officially on the cast list
God is Real
mark hamill, carrie fisher and billy dee williams on epi ix pic.twitter.com/cNzcdImEl7— enola (@daisy_ripley) July 27, 2018
if the truly satisfying conclusion to the skywalker saga isn’t mark hamill, harrison ford, billie lourd, daisy ridley, oscar isaac, john boyega, hayden christensen, natalie portman, and ewan mcgregor in sequins and platform boots singing super trouper I don’t want it— tortellini (@sophiexsheridan) July 27, 2018