Three months after the latest 'Star Wars' anthology film, 'Solo', fans are already starting to get seriously excited about the eagerly awaited finale of the sequel trilogy. 'Star Wars: Episode IX' is more than a year away, but the cast is shaping up to be an exciting one.

Matt Smith outside BBC Radio 2 studiosMatt Smith outside BBC Radio 2 studios

The conclusion of the newest 'Star Wars' trilogy comes next year, with J.J. Abrams ('Star Trek') set to return as director following his work on 2015's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'. The screenplay is being co-written by Derek Connolly, Chris Terrio and Colin Trevorrow for the first time, the latter of whom was originally marked to direct.

Along with the return of the likes of John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, Domhnall Gleeson, Adam Driver, Kelly Marie Tran and Oscar Isaac, a series of new faces will be making their 'Star Wars' debut. Among them are Keri Russell, Dominic Monaghan, Richard E. Grant, Naomi Ackie and former 'Doctor Who' star Matt Smith - though details of their roles in the film are yet to be revealed.

Meanwhile, Episode IX will be the ninth and last film to be composed by the legendary John Williams, and it will also see the return of Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian for the first time since 1983's 'Return of the Jedi' (not counting his appearances in 'Robot Chicken', 'The Lego Movie' series and the animated TV series). 

Plot-wise, the story is being kept well under wraps, but there are rumours that it will feature the return of the Knights of Ren because of Rey's vision of them in 'The Force Awakens'. Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia was initially supposed to have a huge role in this movie, but the story was adapted otherwise following her death in 2016.

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'Star Wars: Episode IX' will be released on December 20th 2019.