As Episode IX wraps filming, director J.J. Abrams shares his second set shot from the film – and this time, it’s in focus! Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac – in costume – share a hug on location – presumably Jordan.
“It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on Episode IX,” the tweet says. “There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast. I’m forever indebted to you all.”
→ Another fruitless few days of official Episode IX stuff (though Rey and Kylo are getting Galaxy of Adventures figures) but at least Making Star Wars has a something something, this time about costumes. And a brief on what role Billy Dee Williams’ Lando plays in the film. But, more importantly – what is he wearing? What will Rey really do with her hair? What… Threepio is wearing? And some more Black Park pictures.
John Boyega got his hands dirty – and a little bloody – on the set of Episode IX today. He shared on Instagram: “Great working day on set!! The whole team pushed themselves today to achieve something visually crazy! I’ve had many moments of shock on set but not like today and I can’t wait until you know why. #FN2187”
→ Adam Driver has been doing a lot of press for BlacKkKlansman during awards season, and in a recent Q&A he briefly addressed signing on for Star Wars and having “one piece of information of where it was all going.”
→ And for those who want to avoid the (possible) spoilers, there have been a few reports that a trailer has been cut, but little on the timing. No one is ruling out one appearing early (by which I mean, before Celebration in April) but it seems more likely to me that we’ll get a title as (maybe) production officially finishes, which is how things went down for The Force Awakens. (And that’s likely soon, given all the cast and crew gifts we’ve seen lately.) Could we get a teaser of some sort then? Never say never, but I’m not counting on it. Of course, I’ve been wrong before.
Although there have been numerous reports – and even social media posts from the likes of John Boyega (mostly via Instagram stories) and Oscar Isaac’s wife Elvira Lind – we finally have some comments from higher up the food chain. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director J.J. Abrams both talked to Roya News about Jordan’s Wadi Rum:
“Wadi Rum is breathtakingly beautiful and the perfect location for our film,” says Abrams. “I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to shoot in Jordan. Between the warm welcome from the government and the dedication and hard work of the local film professionals, we couldn’t have had a better experience. We are enormously grateful.”
Producer Kathleen Kennedy said “I also want to thank the Royal Film Commission Jordan, and the Army, whose tremendous support has been invaluable, and helped make this shoot possible.”
Other than Boyega and Isaac (and maybe Anthony Daniels,) the cast has been mainly mum on who exactly is out in Jordan. There are fuzzy photos that may indicate at least one other cast member joined them, but they’re hardly conclusive.
STAR WARS – EPISODE IX – SPOLER ALERT – NOW IT CAN BE TOLD LEAK. DATELINE PINEWOOD. It's cold & raining. Demands are made to return to the wonderful warm planet of Jordan's, Wadi Rum where cast and crew spent a glorious time in a beautiful, spectacular, thrilling setting. Or two.
There’s plenty of speculation on what Jordan means for the story – understandably, a return to Jakku is a common theory – but it’s interesting that Daniels’ tweet implies it may be standing in for more than one. Curious.
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.
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”
J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX will begin filming on August 1 at London’s Pinewood Studios, StarWars.com has announced, confirming that Billy Dee Williams, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher (via unused The Force Awakens footage) will be returning.
Interestingly, the release calls IX “the final installment of the Skywalker saga.”
As expected, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Anthony Daniels, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd are also returning. They’re being joined by new (to Star Wars) faces, Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant.
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 honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”
Composer John Williams and Director of Photography Dan Mindel are also returning.