Hold on to your Porgs, the cast of Star Wars Episode IX has been announced, and all of your favorite stars are returning. As reported by the official Star Wars website, Episode IX will include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd. Veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams will also be reprising their iconic roles. Notably, this marks Williams' first time playing Lando Calrissian in the new trilogy. Missing from the list is Gwendoline Christie. The Game of Thrones' star's Captain Phasma was assumed to be dead at the end of The Last Jedi, and if she's going to make a comeback, Disney definitely won't be spilling the details in a press release.
It has also been confirmed that the late Carrie Fisher will appear in the film through the use of previously unused footage. Director J.J. Abrams explained in a statement released via Disney's press release why he felt so strongly about including Fisher in this film. He said,
"We desperately loved Carrie Fisher. 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."
Episode IX will feature a couple of new additions to the cast as well. Joining the fight for the galaxy are British actor Naomi Ackie and Logan star Richard E. Grant. Details about their respective roles have yet to be released — which is pretty par for the course when it comes to Star Wars casting news.
Although it wasn't confirmed in the press release, The Americans star Keri Russell may be joining the Star Wars cast too. According to Variety, sources have confirmed to the outlet that she has closed a deal to appear in the film. (Bustle reached out for comment to Russell's reps and Lucasfilm when the news of her potential involvement broke, but they did not immediately respond.)
Details of Russell's potential role remain scarce, but the original report from Variety suggests her character would be involved in a number of action scenes. If she does appear in Episode IX, this will mark a reunion for Abrams and Russell, since she previously starred in his WB series, Felicity.
Disney did more than just confirm the cast for the upcoming film, the studio also revealed that production on the movie will begin next week. That's right, next week all of your favorite stars will be gathering to begin production on the final chapter of Rey and Finn's story. It's a big moment for fans, especially those who are eager to see how the new Star Wars trilogy wraps up its fascinating tale.
Star Wars Episode IX is set to hit theaters December 2019. That wait may be a long one, but with a cast that includes the likes of Ridley, Boyega, Hamill, and Williams, it's almost certain to be worth it.