Mark Hamill Confirmed To Be Returning As Luke For Star Wars: Episode IX

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J.J. Abrams and co-writer Chris Terrio currently face two big questions as they approach production on Star Wars: Episode IX.

For starters, how do they go about closing out Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Saga in a way that satisfies as much as it thrills? And perhaps most important of all: what do they do with the character of Luke, who met his end in the climax of The Last Jedi?

It’s no secret that Mark Hamill’s Jedi Master took his last breath soon after his Force projection deceived Kylo Ren on the salt plains of Crait, but the ambiguous nature of his ‘death’ has led many to believe that the galaxy’s most famous farm boy will be making a return come 2019 – Force ghost or not. After all, they can’t really close out the current trilogy without him, right?

Well, now we finally have confirmation that yes, one of the most iconic characters in all of cinema will indeed be returning for Episode IX, which will presumably be his final bow. The confirmation comes courtesy of a press release put out by Lucasfilm earlier today, which revealed the entire cast and reads as follows:

Star Wars: Episode IX will begin filming at London’s Pinewood Studios on August 1, 2018. J.J. Abrams returns to direct the final installment of the Skywalker saga. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio.

Returning cast members include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd. Joining the cast of Episode IX are Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant, who will be joined by veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams, who will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian.

The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” says Abrams. “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.”

Composer John Williams, who has scored every chapter in the Star Wars saga since 1977’s A New Hope, will return to a galaxy far, far away with Episode IX.

Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Michelle Rejwan, and executive produced by Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin. The crew includes Dan Mindel (Director of Photography), Rick Carter and Kevin Jenkins (Co-Production Designers), Michael Kaplan (Costume Designer), Neal Scanlan (Creature and Droid FX), Maryann Brandon and Stefan Grube (Editors), Roger Guyett (VFX Supervisor), Tommy Gormley (1st AD), and Victoria Mahoney (2nd Unit Director).

Release is scheduled for December 2019.

Of course, given that filming will continue well into the summer, there’s a very good chance that Abrams and his team will announce one or two more additions to the cast before Star Wars: Episode IX sets the wheels in motion. But for now, the folks mentioned up above are who you can expect to see when the lights go down on December 20th, 2019.

Source: StarWars.com

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