Carrie Fisher will play an integral role in 'Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker', according to J.J. Abrams.

The 53-year-old filmmaker has teased details of the much-anticipated new movie, revealing the late actress - who passed away in 2016 - is central to the film's storyline.

He shared: ''We couldn't figure out how to tell the end of the Skywalker Saga without [Princess Leia, Carrie's character] and, you know, saying that she had passed away, saying that she was somewhere else ... there was no way.

''We realised we could never recast it and we didn't want to do a CG character, so we actually realised there was footage we could use, that we could literally write scenes around and suddenly have as an active part of this movie and she's great in the film.

''And still, maybe now more than ever, it's impossible to me that she's gone because she's so alive in the film.''

J.J. also claimed Carrie would be ''proud'' to be associated with the upcoming movie, which will also feature Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill and John Boyega.

He told 'Entertainment Tonight': ''We don't know how to do it without her and so having be part of the movie in a way that I think she'd be proud of is very meaningful.''