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J.J. Abrams marks beginning of Star Wars: Episode IX with first set-photo

It's always exciting when production begins on a brand-new STAR WARS film, and J.J. Abrams started shooting STAR WARS: EPISODE IX at London's Pinewood Studios today. The director commemorated the occasion by taking to Twitter and sharing a touching message along with a blurry photo from the set. Check that out below.

Although much of the photo is dominated by the camera, if you look closely, you can see John Boyega's Finn chatting with someone in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. In addition to Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joona Suotamo, and Billie Lourd will all be returning for the final installment of the Skywalker Saga, along with Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, and Carrie Fisher. Naomi Ackie (Doctor Who), Richard E. Grant (LOGAN) and Keri Russell (The Americans) will also be joining the cast, but the nature of their characters is currently a mystery.

When Carrie Fisher tragically passed away a year prior to the release of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, there was a question of just how Lucasfilm would address it in EPISODE IX. There were rumours that Leia could be brought back as a CG character, but Lucasfilm quickly shut that down; so just how will Leia be making an appearance in the upcoming J.J. Abrams film? Well, it seems that they'll be using previously unreleased footage which was originally shot for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. "We desperately loved Carrie Fisher," Abrams said. "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." It's far to early to guess just how this previously shot Leia footage will factor into EPISODE IX, but I'm grateful that Carrie Fisher will still have a part to play in the final installment of the STAR WARS sequel trilogy.

STAR WARS: EPISODE IX will hit theaters on December 20, 2019.

Source: Twitter

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