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'Star Wars: Episode IX' To Use Unreleased Footage Of Carrie Fisher

LOS ANGELES (CBSNewYork) -- Princess Leia will officially appear in the next Star Wars film.

Disney announced on Friday Start Wars: Episode IX will include the late actress Carrie Fisher using unreleased footage from Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

Carrie Fisher Remembered: Photos Through The Years

Fisher died in December 2016 after she finished work on the middle installment in the trilogy, The Last Jedi. Director Rian Johnson opted not alter her storyline, leaving Leia's fate to be handled by writer-director J.J. Abrams.

"We desperately loved Carrie Fisher," Abrams said in a statement. "Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us."

He said recasting Fisher or recreating her using computer graphics, as was done in a spinoff film "Rogue One," was not an option.

"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."

Friday's announcement also confirmed that Billy Dee Williams will be returning to the franchise as Lando Calrissian, a hero of the rebellion who hasn't been seen in the latest trilogy.

Also returning to the film are Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran, who all play heroes.

Adam Driver and Domhnall Gleeson, who play villains in the latest films, are also returning.

Episode IX will be released in December 2019.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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