Mark Hamill has made absolutely no qualms about the fact that he was unhappy with The Last Jedi. While publicly he praised the film, if you read between the lines, you could see his displeasure and the subtle shots he took at writer/director Rian Johnson. A press release via StarWars.com revealed today that Hamill will in fact return in Episode IX, presumably his final appearance as the most iconic character in film history. It was also revealed that Billy Dee Williams will finally get his due and return as Lando, and Carrie Fisher will return using unreleased footage from The Last Jedi.

“Star Wars: Episode IX will begin filming at London’s Pinewood Studios on August 1, 2018. J.J. Abrams returns to direct the final installment of the Skywalker saga. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio.

Returning cast members include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd. Joining the cast of Episode IX are Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant, who will be joined by veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams, who will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian.

The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” says Abrams. “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, 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.”

The Last Jedi is Still Horrible

Composer John Williams, who has scored every chapter in the Star Wars saga since 1977’s A New Hope, will return to a galaxy far, far away with Episode IX.

Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Michelle Rejwan, and executive produced by Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin. The crew includes Dan Mindel (Director of Photography), Rick Carter and Kevin Jenkins (Co-Production Designers), Michael Kaplan (Costume Designer), Neal Scanlan (Creature and Droid FX), Maryann Brandon and Stefan Grube (Editors), Roger Guyett (VFX Supervisor), Tommy Gormley (1st AD), and Victoria Mahoney (2nd Unit Director).

Release is scheduled for December 2019.”

This is where things get interesting. Bob Iger and Disney have reportedly been very displeased with the direction Kathleen Kennedy and her team has led Star Wars down. As Yoda once said, “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.” After The Last Jedi, it was rumored that both Rian Johnson and J.J. Abrams wanted to kill Luke because he overshadowed the new characters. Disney has now asserted control though, rewrites for Epsiode IX have taken place. While we don’t know how extensive they’ve been, there’s no doubt that Disney has had their hand in this decision.

Mark returning after his masterful performance in The Last Jedi, despite the film’s shortcomings, points to one thing: he will have a pivotal role in the film. Not too long ago he stated he didn’t care to return to Star Wars again. Obviously, something has changed.

If anything, this proves The Last Jedi is at least in part being retconned and Kathleen Kennedy will be gone in short order, as her legacy is being dismantled as we speak.

About The Author

Founder/Editor-in-Chief

Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist and is the Founder, Owner, and Editor-in-Chief of VGCultureHQ. He has been writing about games for over five years and has written over 1,500 articles during that timespan. He first fell in love with gaming when he received A Link to the Past for Christmas when he was six and is the guywazeldatatt. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture and Tetsuya Takahashi games. He is also a huge anime and Star Wars fan.

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