It's August 1, and as promised, director J.J. Abrams is back at the helm as production has begun on the final chapter of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Star Wars: Episode IX started lensing today at Pinewood Studios in London, and the set was a familiar one. In the first behind-the-scenes photo shared on Twitter, Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), Finn (John Boyega) and possibly Rey (Daisy Ridley) were seen seated in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon.
Lucasfilm's Star Wars: Episode IX should start filming later this summer, and one new addition to the cast just might be an old collaborator for Writer/Director J.J. Abrams. Variety broke the news that Keri Russell, who famously worked with Abrams as the title character on Felicity, will join the final chapter in the Sequel Trilogy in an "action-heavy" role. According to the trade, Lucasfilm and Abrams met with several actresses for this role over the past few months, eventually locking in Russell right before the 4th of July.
This is exactly the news I was hoping for. After re-launching STAR WARS with the start of a sequel trilogy that began with his 2015 film, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, J.J. Abrams is returning to close-out the trilogy. This morning it was announced by Lucasfilm that Abrams is on-board to write and direct the currently-untitled STAR WARS: EPISODE IX.