It’s bound to be one of the biggest movies of 2019, no doubt. Actually, many Star Wars fans will be excited at the prospect of going into a movie theatre in late 2019 and get to watch the events which began in 2015’s The Force Awakens come to a conclusion.
And Lucasfilm has now announced on its official website that Star Wars: Episode IX will begin shooting this August, while the US company has also revealed who will star in the movie too.
As expected, The Force Awakens’ trio of protagonists, Daisy Ridley (who plays Rey), John Boyega (Finn) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) will reprise their roles in this movie. Also, Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar Isaac and Billie Lourd will return to the Star Wars franchise in this fifth movie of the Disney era.
More surprisingly, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are also listed amongst the cast members.
Because if you’ve seen Star Wars Episode VIII (and statistically it’s likely you have, given it was the highest grossing movie to hit theatres in 2017) you wouldn’t expect Luke Skywalker to appear in this film, given what happens to him at the end of Rian Johnson’s movie… Although maybe Mark Hamill’s character will appear in ghost form (a la Alec Guinness in Return of the Jedi) or perhaps in a story flashback in this upcoming Star Wars movie, who knows…
Regarding Carrie Fisher, the fact she will show up at all in Episode 9 is something of a surprise, taking into account that Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy had earlier denied she would appear in the movie, although returning director J.J. Abrams recently explained the reasons behind bringing back Leia for this final episode of Disney’s first Star Wars trilogy.
“Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her [Carrie Fisher] 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”, said Abrams.
It’s a good thing though, that Lucasfilm and Disney did not choose to bring back Carrie Fisher via CGI, as this could have been slightly awkward taking into account that the US actress only passed away less than two years ago, although admittedly the people behind Rogue One: A Star Wars Story did do a great job at resurrecting actor Peter Cushing via some clever special effects wizardry in the 2016 movie.
Another pleasant surprise regarding Episode 9’s cast is the return of Billy Dee Williams of the franchise. Because it’s clear that Lando Calrissian was one of the most-loved characters of the original trilogy, a double-crossing but charming scoundrel who surely was one of the highlights of 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back.
So, will this be a worthy closing chapter, and will J.J. Abrams outdo himself here and deliver a movie that surpasses The Force Awakens? This remains to be seen, even though it’s clear that Episode 9 has the potential to go the extra mile and be the series’ best film to date. And if this fails to deliver, there’s always director Rian Johnson’s new trilogy to look forward to…
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Lucasfilm)