J.J Abrams and his production team have begun filming the finale of the Skywalker Saga.
With Star Wars: The Last Jedi proving to be the most divisive entry in the saga, all eyes were on Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story to reset the balance and bring peace and prosperity back to the galaxy far, far away…
Despite being a truly incredible Star Wars movie, Solo struggled at the worldwide box office and failed to deliver the lucrative return it deserved, which came as a shock to the majority of fans around the world who had expected a well-deserved haul at the box office. It was a far superior movie than the underwhelming Avengers: Infinity War and topped Deadpool’s second outing with the Kessel Run sequence alone, and yet the box office failed to reflect its brilliance.
In the months that followed, rumours emerged suggesting the stand-alone films are set to be shelved by Lucasfilm in favour of focussing full attention on the upcoming Episode IX and the subsequent Star Wars live-action television series coming from Jon Favreau. And yet, the fans remain enthused, energized in the hope that J.J Abrams will restore the saga to prominence and reverse the bittersweet atmosphere permeating around the halls of Star Wars social media channels everywhere.
And today the healing begins.
Star Wars: Episode IX has officially entered into production with an all-star cast returning to conclude the sequel trilogy that began with Star Wars: The Force Awakens back in 2015. Mark Hamill is returning as Luke Skywalker, Billy Dee Williams will reprise his role as the smoothest criminal in the galaxy Lando Calrissian, and Carrie Fisher will posthumously return as Leia Organa via previously unseen footage from the earlier movies.
The full cast list is as follows:
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 franchise 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.
Star Wars: Episode IX will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Michelle Rejwan, and executive produced by Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin. The crew includes Dan Mindel (Director of Photography), Rick Carter and Kevin Jenkins (Co-Production Designers), Michael Kaplan (Costume Designer), Neal Scanlan (Creature and Droid FX), Maryann Brandon and Stefan Grube (Editors), Roger Guyett (VFX Supervisor), Tommy Gormley (1st AD), and Victoria Mahoney (2nd Unit Director).
The production of Episode IX will be a bittersweet experience for the entire cast and crew knowing that the role of Leia will continue to be filled by the late, great Carrie Fisher. A feeling that will resonate with the millions of fans gathered around the world. And yet, Carrie Fisher is where she has always been…taking the fight to the First Order in a bid to restore freedom to the galaxy – and that just feels right!
And now, we wait on tenterhooks for every shred of news emerging from the many filming locations and sound stages at Pinewood studios. Our excitement levels have already been rejuvenated and we cannot wait to share the journey with our beloved readers.
Our journey through the force begins anew!
May the Force be with us all.
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Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager, and Editor-In-Chief of The Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Batman, DC, Marvel, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force and babbles frequently!