J.J. Abrams has given fans their first look at the set of Star Wars: Episode IX, to celebrate the start of production.
Naturally, the picture doesn’t give anything away about the final instalment of the Skywalker saga, but we can see John Boyega and part of another actor (Daisy Ridley? Oscar Isaac? Who knows) as they make themselves comfortable in a spaceship cockpit:
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
While there’s no hint at the plot of the final film, we now know that returning cast members include Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd. Along with these names from the latest trilogy, some veterans will also return for the finale, as Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams have been confirmed to reprise their roles.
As well as all this, Episode IX will also feature the addition of unused footage of the late Carrie Fisher, in order to properly conclude Leia’s story:
“The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. ‘We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,’ says Abrams. ‘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 honour Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.’”
Star Wars: Episode IX is set for release on December 20th, 2019.