Variety reported that Keri Russell has been cast episode IX. She started her career in 1992 as Mandy in Honey, I blew up the kids. She also played Felicity in the same titled show, and Elizabeth Jennings in the Americans. JJ Abrams and Russell worked together on Mission: Impossible III in 2006, so they're already familiar with each other working ethics. Her character will have a lot of fight scenes, for which she has already developed skills in The Americans, M:I III and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
This news sounds like they found their match for the role they called "Mara". Although it's not confirmed to be Mara Jade, an Emperor's concubine and assassin who ended up becoming Luke Skywalker's wife in the Expanded Universe, the reference is so specific that many people take it as confirmation. Using Mara just as a code-name for the casting process could result in another backlash after so many fans requested she'd be brought into canon.
Many fans however feel that she won't be the same character without Luke, and the limited time of the movie doesn't leave a lot of room to really do her justice. But on the other hand her story-arc could fix some of the problems in The Last Jedi, if done correctly, and possibly set up more stories that will satisfy the cravings of the fans.
Article by: Joel "Mith" Storms