Billy Dee Williams will reprise his role of Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: Episode IX, Entertainment Weekly reports. Joining him are Carrie Fisher, who died in 2016, and Mark Hamill, who will return as Luke Skywalker. Director J.J. Abrams will use previously unused footage of the Fisher to conclude the story of Leia Organa, according to EW.
Anthony Daniels, who plays C-3PO and the only performer to have a role in all of the Star Wars films, will also return.
Here is more from Entertainment Weekly:
The true surprise of the announcement was the decision to return to the Leia story and use previous footage to do it.
The footage of Fisher, who died in December 2016 after finishing work on The Last Jedi, is all unreleased material from her performance in 2015’s The Force Awakens.
Ever since Fisher’s untimely passing, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has said they would not recast or use digitization to keep the character going.
Now, Abrams says there was no way to close out the story, written by him and Argo Oscar-winner Chris Terrio, without finding a way to bring back her character in some fashion.
“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.”
Get ready for a tear jerker because Fisher’s role was a beloved one.