Since today is Star Wars Day, it seems fitting to gather round the cantina for the true story of that instantly iconic "wrap" photo from the set of Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker. Director J.J. Abrams shared the image on February 15, back when we had no idea what the title of the film would be. He announced that filming had wrapped on Episode IX, meaning filming had wrapped for the entire Skywalker Saga. Abrams posted an emotional group hug photo of new trilogy stars Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), and Oscar Isaac (Poe):
Turns out, though, that photo was not from when they wrapped filming. It was just a beautiful set photo taken from earlier in the shoot, and showed how much the stars appreciated each moment filming the final chapter in this saga.
The three stars in question explained the real situation behind the photo in interviews with Yahoo. Here's Daily Ridley's answer when asked about the "wrap" hug photo:
That wasn't when we wrapped, that's how much we love each other. The day of wrap we were in London, and John wrapped just before me. And I was a hot mess. 'Cause it's like, the character and everything, but the group of people I've been able to work with, I've been so lucky. I said to them this morning, ‘Imagine if we didn't like each other?’
Oscar Isaac expressed a similar sentiment on the non-wrap photo, and revealed that he was happy his character Poe got to spend more time with John Boyega's Finn in The Rise of Skywalker (something that has already been teased in the first trailer):
That was towards the end of filming in the desert, we still had a bit to go back in London. I just think that's an example of how close we got, and how much we genuinely love each other. For me, one of the great things about this film is I got to work so much more with John Boyega, and I just really love him deeply as a person. So I think that comes across. It will come across in the film.
Yeah, of out of everyone, Oscar Isaac seems the most emotional in the photo. It did leave fans reading into their expressions, trying to figure out what might've just happened before this shot. John Boyega talked about it just being an ordinary moment in extraordinary circumstances:
An ordinary moment just goes to show every day just felt emotional. I guess there was a sense throughout the whole film that this was the last one. So we'd hug each other after a long day when we struggled and we achieved a lot.
J.J. Abrams also talked a bit more about wrapping The Rise of Skywalker, comparing that last day to his last day filming Episode VII - The Force Awakens. As you can imagine, there was more emotion in finishing Episode IX, because everyone was very much aware that it was the final film in this story. It's the end of the nine-film Skywalker Saga. Not that Abrams has finished making the film -- as director, when filming is finished, he heads straight into post-production with editing and visual effects work.
Since the movie is ultimately called The Rise of Skywalker, that has led to a lot of speculation as well. Are there any Skywalkers in that photo above, which J.J. Abrams used to mark the end of filming? As far as we know, no, but there may be twists ahead. Luke Skywalker himself, played by Mark Hamill, is meant to return despite dying in The Last Jedi, and Emperor Palpatine appears to be rising as well, despite being killed in the original trilogy.
Prepare for plenty of surprises, and probably a lot of emotion, when Episode IX arrives in theaters December 20. Here's everything we know so far about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.