J.J. Abrams is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to revealing details about his films and we shouldn’t expect Ep. IX production to be any different…. But sometimes the quirky director just can’t help himself. Last month news leaked that he had brought long-time collaborator Keri Russell in the Star Wars family; this time he’s given us a sneak-peak as production begins on Star Wars: Episode IX.
Bittersweet starting this next chapter without Carrie, but thanks to an extraordinary cast and crew, we are ready to go. 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 pic.twitter.com/FOfnGwVut5
— JJ Abrams (@jjabrams) August 1, 2018
Sly as ever, Abrams teased us with a tweet from the set of the Ep. XI production. First he lamented the loss of Carrie Fisher and gave thanks to both The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson and the father of Star Wars himself, George Lucas.
Who does JJ Abrams Have Flying the Falcon?
Featured in the tweet, however, is a blurred shot of the set. In it we see actor John Boyega, sporting a bit more hair than his character has had in the prior two films, Chewbacca (with Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo taking over the heft of the big walking carpet from Peter Mayhew), and someone else (obscured by the camera) seated in what appears to be the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon.
While the folks over at comicbook.com put their “smart money” on Poe Dameron being unknown pilot, I think your wager is better placed elsewhere. Lest we forget, Han did tell Rey “Chewie kind of likes you” in The Force Awakens, and the two are already getting to know each other well as pilot and co-pilot. Plus, I’d expect the towering woookiee would want to keep Han’s ward close at hand, sensing the immediate bond the smuggler and the scavenger had formed from their mutual love of the Falcon.
Where Abrams will take the Ep. IX production, and the final chapter of the Skywalker saga, is anyone’s guess, thus his gratitude towards Rian Johnson is more than warranted. Like it or not, Johnson sent The Last Jedi off in an unexpected direction; now Abrams has the entire galaxy far, far away spread out before him as his pallet. Abrams has already done fans right with the nostalgia factor in The Force Awakens; let’s see what he does with Lando Calrissian and the rest of the gang in Episode IX, which opens December, 2019.