The final instalment of the Skywalker saga will begin filming at London’s Pinewood Studios on August 1st, and we finally have confirmation of the stars in Star Wars: Episode IX.

Joining the existing cast will be Lady Macbeth’s Naomi Ackie, Logan actor Richard E. Grant, and The Americans’ star, Keri Russell – who was absent on the cast released by Disney because she hadn’t yet signed her deal, but Deadline has heard that she is now officially on board.

As well as these new cast members, Episode IX will also see the return of some beloved fan favourites, as Anthony Daniels will return as C-3PO, Mark Hamill will return as Luke Skywalker (or force-ghost Luke at least), and Billy Dee Williams will reprise his role of Lando Calrissian.

It has also been announced that Lucasfilm will be utilising previously unreleased footage of Carrie Fisher, so that Leia Organa will return for the final instalment of the trilogy that she has featured in since its inception.

Director J.J. Abrams announced the news of StarWars.com, saying, “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 [Lourd], 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.”

Abrams will direct a script he co-wrote with Chris Terrio, the plot of which is completely under wraps, so offers no hint as to how Ackie, Grant and Russell will feature, and who they will play.

Star Wars: Episode IX is set for release on December 20th, 2019.

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