Unofficial reports claimed in November 2012 that Lawrence Kasdan, who originally wrote the screenplays for both Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and co-writer Simon Kinberg would divide writing responsibilities for Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX, and both would co-produce all three films of the upcoming sequel trilogy, alongside Kathleen Kennedy.
In February 2013, Disney revealed that Kasdan and Kinberg were working on standalone films as well.
During a concert with the Young Musician's Foundation Debut Orchestra on February 9, composer John Williams stated that he was hoping to get the chance to write the musical scores for the entire new trilogy. His involvement was made official when Star Wars Insider 144 stated he would score the "new Star Wars trilogy".
In June 2014, it was announced that Rian Johnson, director of the hit 2012 sci-fi flick Looper, will write and direct Episodes VIII and IX.
In fall 2015, Benicio del Toro was cast as a new villain in the film, joining Adam Driver and Andy Serkis, who play the trilogy's main villains Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke respectively. Gugu Mbatha-Raw was additionally cast as a fourth main lead, signed on for both Episodes VIII and IX. She joins Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac who play Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron respectively.
- Daisy Ridley as Rey
- John Boyega as Finn
- Adam Driver as Kylo Ren
- Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
- Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa. This will be Carrie Fisher's final performance, as she died in 2016.
- Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron
- Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata
- Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux
- Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma
- Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke
- Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
- Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
- Benicio del Toro as TBA
- Laura Dern as TBA
- Kelly Marie Tran as TBA
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw as TBA
- Greg Grunberg as Snap Wexley
- Billie Lourd as Lt. Connix
- Tim Rose as Admiral Ackbar
- Jimmy Vee as R2-D2
- Mike Quinn as Nien Nunb
- Warwick Davis as TBA
- The film was originally scheduled to be released on May 26, 2017, but due to the success of The Force Awakens in December, the release date was pushed back to December 15, 2017.
- This is the first theatrical Star Wars sequel to be released two years after its predecessor instead of three like the other trilogies.
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