Details about what fans can expect from Star Wars: Episode IX have been kept to a minimum by Lucasfilm, though a recent report about potential filming locations could confirm a return to locations that debuted in the original film.
According to Star Wars News Net, the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga will be filming in Ireland, Italy, and California. Shooting in Ireland likely hints at an appearance from Ahch-To, while Star Wars: The Phantom Menace shot in Italy as a stand-in for Naboo. Multiple sequences in the original trilogy were filmed in California, ranging from Death Valley standing in for Tatooine and the Redwoods of Northern California conveying the Forest Moon of Endor.
While filming at these locations doesn’t necessarily mean that previously featured locations will be represented in the new film, it would make sense that the culmination of the decades-spanning saga would feature at least brief depictions of these locales.
In the Special Edition release of Return of the Jedi, George Lucas added shots of the enitre galaxy celebrating the destruction of the Galactic Empire. It’s safe to assume that The First Order will be decimated in some capacity with this final Skywalker film, which could potentially show another celebration that spans the galaxy.
The previous report that kicked off speculation about what to expect from the new film was that the production was filming in Jordan, which the outlet’s sources also confirmed to be true. The areas which were being used in the production were used to film both Jakku and Jedha in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, respectively.
Co-writer/director J.J. Abrams has made it clear that he aims to honor the entire legacy of the franchise, with this final film in the episodic series serving the perfect opportunity to re-visit all corners of the galaxy far, far away.
Similar to how the film will likely bring together multiple locations featured throughout the saga, the film will also incorporate characters whose origins have a long history in the franchise.
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 and Richard E. Grant, 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.
Episode IX is slated to hit theaters in December of 2019.
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