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J.J. Abrams posts first 'Star Wars: Episode IX' on-set photo

By
Wade Sheridan
Filmmaker J.J. Abrams (L) and his wife Katie McGrath. Abrams posted on Twitter an on-set photo from Star Wars: Episode IX which appears to feature star John Boyega. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI
Filmmaker J.J. Abrams (L) and his wife Katie McGrath. Abrams posted on Twitter an on-set photo from "Star Wars: Episode IX" which appears to feature star John Boyega. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Director J.J. Abrams has posted on Twitter the first behind-the-scenes photo taken on the set of Star Wars: Episode IX as production begins on the highly-anticipated sequel.

The photo, released on Wednesday, features Abrams' camera pointing at a blurry scene which appears to contain star John Boyega as Finn and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca sitting in the cockpit of a spaceship.

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The actors are joined by a mysterious pilot, with the camera covering their face. The camera also features Roman numeral stickers on its side that seemingly represent how it was used to film the seventh entry in the series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and now 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," Abrams said, referencing the death of star Carrie Fisher, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson and series creator George Lucas.

Fisher will still be making an appearance in Episode IX through the use of unseen footage Abrams shot while filming The Force Awakens.

The cast for Episode IX also includes Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Billie Lourd, Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant and Naomi Ackie.

Abrams was announced to be returning to the director's chair for Episode IX in September 2017 after Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow had left the project.

Star Wars: Episode IX is set to arrive in theaters in December 2019.

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