Update: Earlier today, a picture flew around the Internet that was posted by Star Wars' Dan Mindel. It appeared to be a set with some lights from the upcoming Star Wars Episode IX. Fans on Twitter got excited, which caused many outlets to get excited and run stories. Upon further review, however, it seems the picture in question is actually a still from John Carter, which Dan Mindel also worked on. There's nothing like Star Wars to generate the most aggressive opinions, both pro and con, and to generate lengthy think pieces about a set photo that's actually from another movie entirely. Whoooops.
You can read the earlier version of the story below...
Star Wars Episode IX is currently in production and that means it's Christmas for Star Wars fans as every few days we get something new to pour over. Today's gift is a picture of the set at, I believe, Pinewood Studios in London. The new film's director of photography shared an image in which he, unsurprisingly, was most interested in the lighting, but the picture shows off a bit more than that, including some structures that will clearly make up part of a set. Check it out.
Whatever your job is, you probably geek out a little bit when it comes to certain aspects of it. That's really all Director of Photography Dan Mindel is doing here, as he's just super excited that he gets to work with a great light source since that's sort of important to his job. However, the space lights he's showing off aren't all we see, as below them we get a glimpse of a set that's currently in construction for Star Wars Episode IX.
Of course, we don't see a lot here, it's unlikely Dan Mindel would have been allowed to post the image if we did, but what we do see is worth investigating. The walls are covered in green screen, which means that what's being built here is only a fraction of what we'll actually see on the screen when this scene ends up in the final cut of the film. We also see arch-like structures which appear to look like they're artificial like they could be part of a building or a ship, rather than a cave or other "natural" structure, though that's little more than a guess.
What might be more interesting, however, might be the thing that we don't really see in the picture. There's a platform on a boom that appears to be strategically placed in the picture so that we can't see what's on the floor of the set. Of course, since we can't see it, it's the part that many fans have become the most interested in. One popular fan theory making the rounds online is that it's a mosaic showing the Prime Jedi symbol, the image of a Jedi set in between the light and the dark sides. The image was viewable in the First Jedi Temple on Ahch-To in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so it's certainly possible that it could show up again. Having said that I don't see anything in what we can see here that gives me any indication of what it is. It appears that the space lights are lighting it up and so any image that's on the ground is looking washed out, if there's anything there at all.
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