Later this year we will witness Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Star Wars has found a new generation of fans with its sequel trilogy, but now we are awaiting the final instalment in the Skywalker saga. The new film will see the return of our heroes Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), along with those of villains Supreme Leader Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and General Hux (Domnhall Gleeson). Original trilogy icon Billy Dee Williams will also reprise his role as Lando Calrissian, alongside Mark Hamill as his late character Luke Skywalker and a posthumous appearance from the late Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa, courtesy of unused footage from the two preceding films. But with all these returns comes the arrival of some new characters with some very interesting castings, which fans already have some ideas about. So, we have gathered what we know about the five new arrivals.
Who are Star Wars episode 9 new cast members?
Keri Russell as Zorri Bliss
The Americans star Russell was the first new addition to be cast in the closing chapter of the sequel trilogy, in a role that has been described as taking part in action sequences, so we know the character will be physically capable. The character is Zorri Bliss - "a masked scoundrel". Some have theorised that Russell is, in fact, playing Rey's mysterious mother, despite Kylo Ren's assertions in The Last Jedi that her parents were of little consequence. Others think she could be playing one of Ren's acolytes, the Knights of Ren, which would certainly allow her to show off some physical prowess. Fans of the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels and graphic novels are hopeful for the film debut of character Mara Jade, who uses the force and wound up marrying Luke Skywalker, despite the chronology of those stories now not being canon. It has also been rumoured that Russell shares dramatic scenes with Adam Driver, so perhaps she is vital to Rey or even the Skywalker dynasty as a whole. We doubt Russell will be given nothing to do, so regardless expect a big role.
Naomi Ackie as Jannah
The British star of Lady Macbeth has been cast in a role that set photos have confirmed her to be a resistance member, so she is one of the good guys - we hope. A Reddit user has recently claimed that she is more than just any old resistance member - she is the daughter of iconic original trilogy character Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams). At Star Wars Celebration, it was revealed that the character's name is Jannah and Ackie remained coy regarding whether Lando fathered her character.
Richard E Grant as Allegiant General Pryde
The British thespian star of My Beautiful Launderette has been cast in the film too. Grant will play Allegiant General Pryde, a military leader alongside General Hux in the First Order.
The Lost star Monaghan was announced a bit later into production, but the same Reddit leaker seems to have offered a little bit of information on Dominic's character. According to Temirblagg1, Dominic's character is a member of the Resistance. "Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) confronts Dom’s character and Dom laughs. He is a complex character it would seem, he may have lost a friend or something in this skirmish". Sounds like we will be delving into some morally grey territory on the natures of war. Monaghan and Abrams have worked together before, as evidenced by Monaghan's role as Charlie Pace in Lost.
The former Doctor Who lead and The Crown star was reported to have been cast in an undisclosed role, but theories already abound as to who the actor will play. A large number of fans have predicted that Smith is playing a young version of Emperor Palpatine, the evil Sith leader of the Galactic Empire, played by thespian Ian McDiarmid in previous films and in the upcoming Episode IX too. How this would come about would remain to be seen. Would he be a force ghost, a clone, a recording, a vision, or a flashback? Either way, it's another casting with serious acting chops, and if he is Palpatine then it is another iconic sci-fi character for Smith to play. As with most of the other castings, some have speculated a relation to Rey too.
The problem with this casting is the recent denial from Smith that he's in the film at all - which seems a bit far but we will have to wait and see.Read More