The late Carrie Fisher has been named among the cast for the next Star Wars film.
The shock announcement comes amid a casting list that features a mix of old and new faces. According to director JJ Abrams, the move comes with “support and blessing” from Fisher’s daughter Billie.
Fisher died on December 27, 2016, after suffering difficulties during a commercial flight on from London to Los Angeles four days earlier.
According to a press release, the previously unseen footage was recorded for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” director JJ Abrams, who will direct Episode IX, said in a statement.
“Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG (computer-generated) 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,” he added.
In other huge news, 81-ear-old Billy Dee Williams will bring back his role as Lando Calrissian and Mark Hamill will return as Luke Skywalker.