Mark Hamill
Mark Hamil arrives at the European Premiere of Star Wars, The Force Awakens in Leicester Square, London, December 16, 2015. Reuters/Dylan Martinez

Filming of “Star Wars: Episode 9” has finally begun. Cast member Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) paid tribute to his colleague Carrie Fisher (Leia) in an online message, and confirmed that she will not be replaced in the upcoming movie.

Lucasfilm has already announced that they will be using old footage of Fisher from “The Force Awakens” to keep her in the film. One of the pictures that Hamill shared online [see below] appears to tease the opening credits that will include a dedication to the actress.

“In Loving Memory of our Princess Carrie Fisher,” one of the shots of the opening credits will read.

Fisher has been a part of the franchise from the very beginning. Hamill shared pictures of him with Fisher when they were young, and from the recent “Last Jedi” film, in which they reprised their roles. All the cast members may be remembering Fisher as filming of the next movie begins.

Leia is an important part of the ongoing story, and was tipped to play an even more significant role in the final movie. It remains to be seen how the writers have managed to incorporate her in the story, and if they will be making use of movie magic to add more scenes of the character.

Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix) will be reprising her role in the film. Connix has been a minor character so far. It remains to be seen if the character’s importance will increase in the next film.

Benicio Del Toro’s (DJ) name is missing from the list of the cast. Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma) will also not be coming back in the movie.

JJ Abrams is back at the helm to direct “Star Wars: Episode 9.” The film is set to be released on Dec.20, 2019 in the US.

Credit: Mark Hamill/ Twitter