“I couldn’t be more personally thrilled and happy that our Carrie will reprise her role as Princess Leia in the new and final Star Wars Episode IX, using previously unreleased footage of her shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” said Fisher’s brother Todd in a statement.
“As we, her family, as well as her extended family of fans around the world so believe, Carrie’s Princess Leia is forever entrenched in the franchise and her indelible presence is fundamental to the film.
“JJ Abrams understood Carrie’s iconic role, and he has masterfully re-crafted this final entry to include this unused and very last footage of Carrie ever taken, without resorting to CGI or animatronics. Our family and her fans will look forward with great anticipation for this one! Her force will forever be with us!”
The announcement of the plan comes on the eve of filming for the final instalment of the current trilogy, with Abrams returning to write and direct. Revealing his method of concluding Leia’s timeline, the filmmaker confirmed he had her daughter Billie Lourd’s consent:
“With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honour Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII,” he said.
The untitled Star Wars: Episode IX is to shoot at London’s Pinewood Studios, with many of the existing cast members confirmed to return including Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o and Domhnall Gleeson.