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Star Wars Episode 9 cast announced: Carrie Fisher to appear using 'unseen footage'

And we've learned who else will be starring in Episode IX.

The General will return.

It's official, we'll be seeing Carrie Fisher onscreen as Leia once again and Billy Dee Williams will be back as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars Episode 9, the final installment of the Skywalker saga. The two will be joined by veterans Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels.

Update, 3:23 p.m. PT: Deadline is reporting that Keri Russell *will also* be in the sequel. We've reached out to Lucasfilm for confirmation and comment. 

Writer director J.J. Abrams said of including Leia once again: "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."

Newly announced cast members include: Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth, The Five) and Richard E. Grant (Logan, Downton Abbey) in as-yet unnamed roles.

Ackie and Grant join the returning characters for Episode 9: Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Lupita Nyong'o Maz Kanata, Domhnall Gleeson General Hux, Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, Joonas Suotamo as Chewie and Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd.

It will begin filming at London's Pinewood Studios next Wednesday, Aug. 1, with a script co-written by Abrams and Chris Terrio. Terrio is best known for his work on Justice League and Argo. The final installment will be scored by award-winning composer John Williams once more.

Now playing: Watch this: Your guide to Star Wars lightsaber colors

Star Wars Episode 9 still has no "official" title, but arrives December 2019.

Everything we know about Star Wars Episode 9: In December 2019, J.J. Abrams will close out the Star Wars trilogy he kicked off with The Force Awakens.

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