JJ Abrams has confirmed via Twitter that Star Wars: Episode IX‘s production cycle is now in full swing. The filmmaker’s heartfelt message touched upon his mixed feelings heading into the next installment of the Star Wars franchise. Although grateful to those who have helped him on this endeavor, nothing feels the same without the late Carrie Fisher.
Along with the touching caption, Abrams also attached the first public production image. The photo seems to be a shot of John Boyega as Finn, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca in the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon.
Many have questioned what would be the fate of General Leia Organa following Star Wars: The Last Jedi, considering that the character survived the film, and the next chapter is supposed to be the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga. Last week, Lucasfilm confirmed in a statement that we would be given closure to Organa’s story, despite Fisher’s passing, by way of unused footage from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
JJ Abrams also shared some words in the official Lucasfilm statement. “We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” the director added. “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.”
Abram’s production message also doubles as his first-ever tweet, which may allude to more behind-the-scenes content being on the way. Director Ron Howard took to Twitter in a similar way during the making of Solo: A Star Wars Story, so we might see more about Episode IX sooner than we think.
Star Wars: Episode IX is currently scheduled to hit theaters worldwide on December 20th, 2019.
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