The star died in late 2016, before production had begun on the franchise’s ninth episode, which was previously set to feature her prominently.
In a statement issued late on Friday night, JJ said: “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher.
“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.”
The director also announced veteran actor Richard E. Grant as a new cast addition, along with Naomi Ackie, while Billy Dee Williams will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian.
Filming will begin on Wednesday in London. The as-yet-untitled film will be the final movie in the latest trilogy and the follow-up to ‘The Last Jedi’, which grossed over $1 billion at the box office.