First Official Star Wars: Episode IX Set Photo From J.J. Abrams!

Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm (via J.J. Abrams‘ Twitter feed) have revealed the first photo from the set of Star Wars: Episode IX to announce the start of production on the Sequel Trilogy capper. Check out the full Star Wars: Episode IX set photo in the gallery below!

“Bittersweet starting this next chapter without Carrie, but thanks to an extraordinary cast and crew, we are ready to go,” wrote Abrams in his first ever Tweet. “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”

What can we learn from this first official release from the production? Finn’s got a new vest, with a blurry John Boyega seen talking to Abrams, who is sitting in the pilot’s chair in the Millennium Falcon cockpit. Chewbacca can also be seen in the co-pilot’s seat in the camera’s viewfinder. It also appears to be a PanaFlex camera, which means like the previous two films in the sequel trilogy this one will be shot on film by Abrams’ longtime cinematographer Dan Mindel. Does this Tweet also mean that Abrams is embracing social media, and may be more open to sharing images throughout production? Only time will tell if the Mystery Box will keep one cardboard flap open on this film!

Returning cast members include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd. Joining the cast of Episode IX are Naomi Ackie (Doctor Who), Richard E. Grant (Gosford Park, Hudson Hawk) and Keri Russell (The Americans), who will be joined by veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams, who will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian.

The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: Episode IX began filming at London’s Pinewood Studios on August 1, with J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Trek) returning to direct the final installment of the Skywalker saga. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio (Argo, Justice League). Composer John Williams, who has scored every chapter in the Star Wars saga since 1977’s A New Hope, will return to a galaxy far, far away with Episode IX.

The film will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Michelle Rejwan, and executive produced by Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin.

Star Wars: Episode IX is scheduled for release on December 20, 2019.