UPDATE: The Star Wars Show has posted a video segment announcing this exciting news. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to check out the video.

This just in from Lucasfilm, the cast and crew of Episode IX have been announced along with August 1 revealed as the start date of filming….

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.”

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 release confirms that Carrie Fisher will return as Leia Organa using previously unseen footage from The Force Awakens, with the support and blessing from her daughter Billie Lourd. Other returning original cast members include Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian.

Returning sequel cast members include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd. New cast members include Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant in as yet untitled roles. Absent from the cast list is Gwendoline Christie, putting an end to any rumours her character, Captain Phasma, may have survived her encounter with Finn in The Last Jedi.

Also, returning to score the final Skywalker episode is Oscar winning composer John Williams. Principal photography starts on 1st August, next Wednesday, at London’s Pinewood Studios.

We can’t wait — only 509 days till Episode IX is released!