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Star Wars: Episode IX has announced its cast!


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Yesterday saw director J.J. Abrams announce the cast for Star Wars: Episode IX. Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and John Boyega return as Rey, Kylo Ren and Fin respectively, and will be joined by fellow returning cast members Oscar Isacc, Domhnall Gleeson and Lupita Nyong'o.

Returning to the Star Wars franchise after 35 years is Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, back for the first time since 1983's Return of the Jedi (although he did voice a brick version of Lando for a brief appearance in 2014's The LEGO Movie). It follows Donald Glover's portrayal of a young Lando in Solo: A Star Wars story, released back in May.

The surprise announcement was the return of both Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa. Hamill's reappearance is a surprise given Skywalker's death at the end of The Last Jedi (2017). Fisher's return is more eye-catching still, following her sudden death in December 2016. Abrams has explained that the film will make use of unused footage shot during the filming of The Force Awakens (2015).

This follows a fan petition for Meryl Streep to fill the role of Leia for Episode IX, something that Hamill has spoken against in the past. It also appears to contradict Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy who last year announced that Leia would not appear in the new film either through CGI or reappropriated footage.

New cast members include Richard E. Grant and Naomi Ackie, star of Lady Macbeth (2017), in currently unamed roles. Finally, Anthony Daniels will return as droid C-3PO, the only actor to appear in every film released as part of the main Star Wars franchise.

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