Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill has opened up about the “bittersweet” feeling of starting production on Star Wars Episode IX without the late Carrie Fisher.
A few days after director JJ Abrams announced that Fisher would make an appearance in the film using unseen footage shot for Episode VII, Hamill took to Twitter to praise his late co-star.
“It’s bittersweet facing my final chapter without her,” he wrote. “She is simply irreplaceable. I’m finding solace in the fact that she won’t BE replaced & would love the worldwide outpouring of affection from those who loved her when they heard the news.”
It's bittersweet facing my final chapter without her-She is simply irreplaceable. I'm finding solace in the fact that she won't BE replaced & would love the worldwide outpouring of affection from those who loved her when they heard the news.#CarrieOnForever pic.twitter.com/7ueMqBxQwa
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) July 29, 2018
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Fisher – who died aged 60 in December 2016 – will return as Princess Leia/General Organa.
Hamill himself is due to reprise his role as Luke Skywalker in Episode IX, with many speculating his character will appear as a force ghost.
Also returning to the franchise is C-3PO actor Anthony Daniels, alongside Billy Dee Williams, who will play Lando Calrissian for the first time since 1983’s Return of the Jedi.
Other returning characters for the new film – which begins shooting at London’s Pinewood Studios on 1st August – include Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo and Billie Lourd.
The film is due to see new characters played by Richard E Grant, Naomi Ackie and Keri Russell, the latter of which worked with Abrams on TV series Felicity.
Star Wars: Episode IX is due for release in cinemas in December 2019.