The set of Star Wars Episode IX just got a whole lot merrier. In a recent announcement, Lucasfilm revealed that Lord of the Rings star Dominic Monaghan joins the already robust cast of the final Star Wars episodic installment.

Dominic Monaghan

Monaghan was apparently not satisfied with already starring in one of the most successful film trilogies in cinematic history. Now, he joins the Star Wars sequel trilogy in an as-yet-unnamed role. Dominic Monaghan portrayed the amiable Meriadoc “Merry” Brandeybuck in Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings triumvirate. This time, he moves from the Shire to the galaxy far, far away.

Dominic Monaghan

Image: Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images

Dominic Monaghan Joins Star Wars

Fans shouldn’t be too shocked that Monaghan is joining Star Wars. As Deadline notes, Monaghan first expressed his desire to appear in a Star Wars film back in 2014. Had he done so then, he would have reunited with friend and Lost producer JJ Abrams much sooner. Now, it seems, he’s getting that chance. Monaghan isn’t shy about his excitement, either, admitting that:

The galaxy far, far away has had almost as much influence as the one I live in, so I am delighted to be involved.”

Amidst all the rumors circulating around Episode IX, concrete news that Dominic Monaghan joins the cast is certainly a welcome surprise. We don’t yet know what role he’ll play, however, be it as part of the First Order or part of the Resistance. (Interestingly, Monaghan’s former partner, Evangeline Lilly, has also expressed the desire to act in a Star Wars feature. No word yet if Monaghan has any thoughts on that subject.)

Monaghan, JJ Abrams and cast/producers of “Lost” at 63rd Golden Globes (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Disney took a risk with Rian Johnson on The Last Jedi. Sure, the film was a commercial success, but…. The film nonetheless created the greatest schism among the fan base in the history of the franchise. The studio has turned the reigns back over to Abrams to hopefully reverse that trend. To that end, Abrams hasn’t hesitated to bring in quality actors with whom he’s worked in the past, such as Dominic Monaghan and Keri Russell. Here’s hoping the combination of his own personal nostalgia, and Star Wars nostalgia in general, gives the Skywalker saga a fitting send-off.

Dominic Monaghan and the rest of the cast hit theaters in Star Wars Episode IX next December, 2019.

SOURCE: Deadline