Some of the casting for Star Wars: Episode IX was confirmed this weekend, with many focusing on the inclusion of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, and Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa. The latter is a bit surprising given Fisher’s passing before the release of The Last Jedi and Lucasfilm’s promise that she wouldn’t be digitally recreated to have her in the final film of the latest trilogy.
But she is coming back “via use of previously unreleased footage” according to Page Six, something approved by her brother and supported by the rest of her fans and castmates. Nobody seemed to capture that feeling better than Hamill, who posted about the announcement on Twitter and once again took our hearts and crushed them with The Force:
“It’s bittersweet facing my final chapter without her. She is simply irreplaceable. I’m finding solace in the fact that she won’t BE replaced & would love the worldwide outpouring of affection from those who loved her when they heard the news.”
Hamill also included a few photos of himself with Fisher and the tribute that followed the close The Last Jedi:
It's bittersweet facing my final chapter without her-She is simply irreplaceable. I'm finding solace in the fact that she won't BE replaced & would love the worldwide outpouring of affection from those who loved her when they heard the news.#CarrieOnForever pic.twitter.com/7ueMqBxQwa— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) July 29, 2018
John Boyega reached out and offered a follow-up to Hamill’s post, driving home the notion that the cast really is a family — just not you’re family. Keep your Uncle Terry away from the pets.
Entertainment Weekly also shared a quote from J.J. Abrams about the decision to bring back Fisher, making it clear that this was as respectful as possible:
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” Abrams said in a statement. “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.”
So we sorta know what to expect, though we likely won’t get any reference to that space floating from The Last Jedi. If this is all coming from Force Awakens footage, that and some other stuff might get skipped over. Let’s just accept she’s got some Force powers and her brother trained her a bit.