There's no franchise quite as popular as Star Wars. Starting decades ago, George Lucas' colorful world has been passed down across generations, resulting in a massive pool of devoted fans to the galaxy far, far away. So when J.J. Abrams and Disney brought back the franchise with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it broke box office records and help inspire a new trilogy to complete the Skywalker legacy. Abrams is back to direct Episode IX, wrapping up stories and characters he originally introduced. The director/producer just shared the first image on set, and it's cryptic and exciting. Check it out.
Does anyone else have chills? This new image, however out of focus, proves that Episode IX has officially begun production. And considering how high the stakes are in the wake of The Last Jedi, there's a ton to explore in this final installment in the main Star Wars franchise.
The above image is mostly focused on the camera recording the image, but it also features some awesome Star Wars iconography in the background. If you look closely, it seems that Abrams is filming a scene from within the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. This is a common setting for the beloved space opera, so most fans will easily be able to make up the Falcon's cockpit in this first photo.
Not just an empty set, there are two actors filming within the iconic ship. Unfortunately, only one character is clearly visible: John Boyega's Finn. Finn is one of the trio of new heroes created by J.J. Abrams, and he's had a trial by fire in The Resistance. If Episode IX has a time gap after The Last Jedi, then it should be interesting to see how he's continued to fight against the First Order. Has he become a Han Solo, thrown into heroics before going above and beyond? We'll just have to wait and see.
Regardless of the film's mystery plot, J.J. Abrams' first set photo of Episode IX also shows that Finn finally found a new outfit. The former Stormtrooper spent his first two films rocking basics and Poe Dameron's jacket, but he's got new duds in the above image. Instead he's rocking a sweet vest combo-- once again reminiscent of Harrison Ford's Han Solo.
As far as whose next to John Boyega, smart money says its Daisy Ridley's Rey. Rey is the owner of the Millennium Falcon now, and she's not going to give Han's ship over easily. Finn and Rey spent the entirety of The Last Jedi separated, before finally coming together in the film's final moments. With J.J. Abrams back in the director chair, smart money says Finn and Rey's relationship will once again become a focus of the narrative.
All will be revealed when Episode IX arrives on December 20th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.