The end of an era? J.J. Abrams took to Twitter today to announce the completion of principal photography on Star Wars IX, which has been billed by all involved as the final installment of the Skywalker family saga which began its historic cinematic run in May 1977 with the release of the first Star Wars movie.
With an emotional photo of an on-location cast clinch in the desert, the director announced to his 76,000 followers that while “it feels impossible” the epic shoot is a wrap. In addition to disbelief his initial reaction was one of gratitude. “I’m forever indebted to you all,” the filmmaker said to his cast and crew. The photo Abrams tweeted shows Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and John Boyega embracing in a bittersweet bonding moment. (Any tweet from Abrams feels momentous: The filmmaker opened his Twitter account in October 2017 but today’s tweet was only his fourth communication.)
Filming began Aug. 1 2018 at London’s Pinewood Studios, with Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant joining the main cast that also will include Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams and, posthumously, Carrie Fisher, thanks to previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The main cast from the last installment, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is also back for action, led by Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran and Joonas Suotamo. Iconic composer John Williams returns as well for his tenth Jedi film (he also worked on Solo: A Star Wars Story) if you’re keeping score.
The title of the film has not been released yet. Abrams directed from a script he cowrote with Chris Terri. The film from Disney’s Lucasfilm has a December 20, 2019, release date.