Star Wars: Episode 9 – First Image Released From Set As Production Begins
Hurray for JJ.
Star Wars: Episode IX has started production. The next movie in the long-running Star Wars saga is being shot in London, and director JJ Abrams has tweeted the first image from the set and paid tribute to the late Carrie Fisher.
The image doesn't exactly give much away--it's a close-up of some camera equipment in front of a blurred background, in which you can just about make out actor John Boyega. In his tweet, Abrams stated that it was "bittersweet" to start Episode IX without Fisher but paid tribute to his "extraordinary cast and crew." Check it out below:
Bittersweet starting this next chapter without Carrie, but thanks to an extraordinary cast and crew, we are ready to go. Grateful for @rianjohnson and special thanks to George Lucas for creating this incredible world and beginning a story of which we are lucky to be a part. #IX pic.twitter.com/FOfnGwVut5— JJ Abrams (@jjabrams) August 1, 2018
Boyega also tweeted the same image, and stated that the first day of shooting had been completed. In addition, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson replied to Abrams' message with his own amusing tweet.
Last week, the full principal cast of Episode IX was confirmed. Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billie Lourd are all set to reprise their roles from the previous two movies. They will be joined by new cast members Keri Russell, Naomi Ackie, and Richard E. Grant. Additionally, Billy Dee Williams will return to the saga to play Lando Calrissian once again. Also, Fisher will appear as Princess Leia for the last time, via unused footage from 2015's The Force Awakens.
Abrams also directed The Force Awakens and joined Episode IX in September last year, following the departure of original director Colin Trevorrow. Although little is known about Episode IX at this stage, Abrams has suggested that he won't play it safe with his second Star Wars film. "I feel like we need to approach this with the same excitement that we had when we were kids loving what these movies were," he said. "But at the same time, we have to take them places that they haven't gone, and that's sort of our responsibility."
Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019 and is currently the only other Star Wars movie on Disney's release schedule. There were rumors that the studio might have stopped development on some of its planned spin-offs following the financial disappointment of the recent Solo: A Star Wars Story, but the studio subsequently denied this was the case. In addition, there are two separate Star Wars movies series in the works, one from The Last Jedi's Rian Johnson, the other from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.