9:37am PT by Ryan Parker
Carrie Fisher's Brother Credits J.J. Abrams for Leia Remaining in 'Star Wars' Saga
Todd Fisher was correct after all.
In April 2017, the brother of the late Carrie Fisher said in an interview that Princess Leia would be featured in Episode IX via unused footage — a statement that was quickly shot down by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who said he was "confused."
Well, Fisher was correct.
On Friday, it was revealed that unused footage taken during the production of 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be used in the upcoming film, bookending the new trilogy.
"We desperately loved Carrie Fisher," returning director J.J. Abrams 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 character."
The actress' brother could not be happier, he told The Hollywood Reporter.
"J.J. [Abrams] really made this happen," said Fisher.
Carrie Fisher died in December 2016, after completing work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
After Todd Fisher made his comments last year, Kennedy said she had "no idea why he said that."
The actress' brother said he has no hard feelings. "If I was in any way an inspiration for the final decision to keep Leia a part of the story, that's great," he told THR. "I must say at times I felt like a voice crying in the wilderness."
Lucasfilm on Friday also announced returning castmembers for the new film will include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo and Carrie Fisher's daughter, Billie Lourd.
New stars joining the cast include Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant and Keri Russell. They will be joined by original Star Wars actors including Mark Hamill (as Luke Skywalker), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and Billy Dee Williams, appearing as Lando Calrissian.
Star Wars: Episode IX is set to begin filming Aug. 1 at Pinewood Studios in London, and is slated to open Dec. 20, 2019.