Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams & the late Carrie Fisher will all appear in “Star Wars: Episode IX”

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Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney(HOLLYWOOD) -- Carrie Fisher may have left us, but General Leia Organa lives on.

Despite denials last year that the late actress would appear in Star Wars: Episode IX, Disney announced Friday that Fisher's Leia Organa will indeed be present in the film, "using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

Director J.J. Abrams says in a statement, "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."

In addition to Fisher, Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, will be back for the new movie, despite the fact that he appeared to die...er...become one with The Force at the end of The Last Jedi.  Not only that, but Billy Dee Williams is also slated to appear, reprising his role as Lando Calrissian.

Also returning are Anthony Daniels, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Kelly Marie Tran and Domhall Gleesan, as well as Joonas Sutamo as Chewbacca.  Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd is also a returning cast member.

Composer John Williams, who has scored every Star Wars movie since 1977, will do the honors again for Episode IX.

Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled to be released in December of 2019.

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