Keri Russell is about to head to a galaxy far, far away. The former Felicity actress is joining the cast of Star Wars: Episode IX, due out at the end of 2019.
As reported by Variety, Russell confirmed her role just prior to the 4th of July, beating out several actors over a two-month casting deliberation. The role calls for “action-heavy fight scenes,” which Russell has proven she has the chops for, including her most recent collaboration with Abrams in Mission Impossible III.
That’s pretty much the extent of what anyone knows, besides Abrams is likely to cast two more key roles for the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga. One question that’s lingering on everyone’s mind is how they’ll handle the absence of Carrie Fischer, who passed away at the end of 2016. Leia Organa was slated to play a pivotal role in the upcoming Episode IX, and there were several rumors about using a CG rendering of her character, though it sounds like they’ve decided against that.
Abrams, who relaunched the franchise with 2015’s The Force Awakens, was called back into director duty after the parting of Colin Trevorrow. The Fallen Kingdom director came highly recommended after his work retooling Jurassic Park, then he made Book of Henry and things… kind of went south. Trevorrow is, of course, joined by Solo’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller in the ever-growing club of filmmakers cast aside by the Star Wars franchise.
Star Wars: Episode IX goes into production at the end of the month. Daisey Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac (the whole gang, basically) are expected to come back to help close out the sequel trilogy.