It’s official, Princess Leia will be returning to Star Wars next year. The fate of the saga’s pinnacle figure has been up in the air since actor Carrie Fisher died unexpectedly in December of 2016.

According to, her role will be filled thanks to some unused footage she filmed for The Force Awakens, which relaunched the franchise in 2015.

“We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” read a statement from Episode IX director J.J. 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.

Abrams had previously directed The Force Awakens, so it’s safe to say he has a handle on how he’ll conclude Princess Leia’s story arc. Hopefully, this leads to absolutely zero speculation on her being revealed as Rey’s mother. Rey’s parents were junk traders, get over it.

Fisher had completed filming her scenes in The Last Jedi, the eighth installment to the Skywalker Saga, but Fisher’s death left many wondering how — or if — her character would return. At one point the production had considered rendering her as a CG character, much like they did for her brief appearance at the tail-end of 2016’s stand-alone Star Wars film Rogue One.

Filming for Episode IX will begin on August 1st of this year, and is expected to hit theaters in December of 2019.