Rumor: The most dangerous man in the Universe? Matt Smith is coming for Episode IX

And another big geek name reportedly joins Episode IX… Matt Smith (The Crown, Doctor Who in a “key role,” Variety reports.

Smith is best known as the Eleventh Doctor on Doctor Who from 2010-2013, while he most recently received an Emmy nomination for playing Prince Phillip in Netflix’s The Crown.

If this pans out, he’ll be the third Doctor to have a Star Wars role in recent years, though the first in a film. His Who predecessor, 10th Doctor David Tennant, voiced Jedi training droid Huyang in The Clone Wars, while 4th Doctor Tom Baker voiced the pivotal role of Bendu in S3 of Rebels. With two of the three trilogies filmed in the U.K., there’s a wealth of other crossovers between the two franchises, including a weird stint with Peter Cushing in the 60s. Other Who alumni to have appeared in Star Wars include Rogue One’s Felicity Jones, IX’s Richard E. Grant and Naomi Ackie. And going the other way around, Warwick Davis guest-starred in a 2013 episode during Smith’s tenure.

Dominic Monaghan joins the Star Wars

Deadline reports that Dominic Monaghan (Lost, Lord of the Rings) has snagged a role in Episode IX. Monaghan himself seemingly confirms: “The galaxy far far away has had almost as much influence as the one I live in, so I am delighted to be involved,” he said.

Yesterday, he posted this:

Seems apropos @starwars @ragandbone #becurious

A post shared by Dominic Monaghan (@dom_monaghan_) on

Monaghan was among the reams of actors who expressed an interest back when The Force Awakens was gearing up.

Episode IX filming spotted; Fun with Finn and Poe?

We’ve seen the Falcon now, but how about Finn, Poe and Chewbacca? The Sun has some spy pics of John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Joonas Suotamo filming with some other actors/extras “just a few miles outside of London.” Unlike yesterday’s spotting, this one could be considered actually spoilery, so don’t click through if that sort of thing matters to you.

Of course, this being the Sun, there’s also some blathering about Ewan McGregor, who is probably not in this one. (Well, maybe. It’s a big maybe.)

Some observations below the cut.

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Rumor: Episode IX will finish filming by February

A report from Geeks Worldwide/Omega Underground says that filming on J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX is expected to complete filming by February. The movie began shooting August 1.

Why should the average fan care? After all, the movie still won’t be out until December 2019. But the end of filming is sometimes used as a reason for major announcements… Like titles, as was the case for Solo and The Force Awakens.

It’s not a hard and fast rule: The Last Jedi wrapped principal photography in July and didn’t announce the title until January, although we know now that Rian Johnson had it very early on. And Rogue One had the title before it began filming. But it’s possible – 50/50 – we’ll learn the IX title in February.

Omega Underground hasn’t originated many rumors, but they were the first to report that Paul Inglis was hired as the IX art director

Our first look at an Episode IX set? (Sadly, no.)

Did Episode IX’s Director of Photography, Dan Mindel, just give us our first look at one of the film’s brand new sets? “Space lights ….. unbeatable quality source of ambient lighting,” Mindel writes. “6000 watts 6 lamps or 3000 watts 3 lamps!” The image was taken in London. If it is, chances are its J.J. approved Or, it’s probably from 2012’s John Carter. Oh well, we tried.

Mindel notably posted our first behind-the-scenes look at The Force Awakens forest fight – after the film came out – but deleted it soon afterward.

Meanwhile, head below the cut for some other cast and crew tweets from the past week. Richard E. Grant on getting the job, BB-8 operator Brian Herring on getting started, who John Boyega has hugged, and Mark Hamill is in… Prague? Okay, that might not be related to IX. But hey, Millie is cute.

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J.J. Abrams: Starting Episode IX is “bittersweet”

J.J. Abrams posted his first tweet to his personal account to mark the first day of shooting on Episode IX. “Bittersweet starting this next chapter without Carrie, but thanks to an extraordinary cast and crew, we are ready to go.” he tweeted. “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”

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Flashback: Our first official looks at The Force Awakens

With Episode IX due to begin filming on August 1, let’s take a look back at our first official dispatches from the set of The Force Awakens

The clapperboard photo (#dayone) was tweeted by @bad_robot on May 16, 2014, while an official video for Omaze/Force for Change featuring director J.J. Abrams and the creature we now know as BobbaJo arrived on May 21.

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