Star Wars: Episode IX began filming at the beginning of this month, and aside from the photo that director J.J. Abrams shared on social media from the first day of filming we haven’t really seen much about the film so far.
That is, until this past week.
Two separate leaks from the set show pictures of what’s been going on with the filming so far for the highly-anticipated conclusion to the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the nine-film Skywalker saga.
It probably goes without saying but should be said anyway: if you don’t want to see leaked pictures from the set of Star Wars: Episode IX, don’t read any further.
The first set of leaked pictures came from Making Star Wars, who was sent these photos from Black Park at Pinewood Studios. Apparently they have put up fencing and there were other indications that a big project was happening, which drew attention to the area… and it turns out that the Millennium Falcon could be spotted.
So obviously these pictures don’t tell us a whole lot about Episode IX, but there are two things to note. First of all, it’s just really cool to see the Millennium Falcon set somewhere, as anytime the iconic ship shows up it’s pretty awesome – and it’s fun to see pictures of the actual ship built and on location somewhere for filming. But secondly, it seemingly confirms that we’ll be getting a jungle-type planet in Episode IX. For cynics, this may trigger talk about simply being a rehash of ROTJ, but the pictures seem to convey an even more jungle-like planet than Endor. Of course, that could simply be because of the angle of these leaked set pics, but still, I doubt it’ll be just a re-hash.
What will be interesting to see is what planet this is, as some have speculated that it could be Batuu. We know that it’s a planet with plenty of forests, and it has featured recently in the novel “Thrawn: Alliances” and will be the location of the upcoming Galaxy’s Edge park at Disney Land and Disney World. Given its prominence in Star Wars media recently and upcoming, plus its location in-universe near the unknown regions (where the First Order was born), it’s certainly possible that it could show up in Episode IX.
The second set of leaked pictures comes from The Sun, and they may be even more interesting to many viewers because they give us a look at John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Joonas Suotamo!
From these photos, we get a look at the outfits for both Poe Dameron and Finn. Poe doesn’t have his flight jacket, whereas Finn seems to be rocking blue pants that are reminiscent of Han Solo. We also know that Chewbacca is with them on this planet, which has grassy plains – a planetary look that seems different from what we’ve seen in a Star Wars look before. Additionally, we see plenty of extras and horses. It’s unclear whether the coverings that these extras are wearing are part of their actual costumes or simply to cover up their costumes, but it does look like the horses might have some CGI done, based on the markings on the head. They might be space-horses.
So what’s going on here? We can’t say for sure, but I would guess that Poe, Finn, and Chewie are trying to gather allies to the Resistance’s cause and go to these people, which could be (I’m speculating here) how they meet or come in contact with Naomi Ackie’s character (who may actually be seen in some of these pictures).
One more thing to note is that these leaked pictures may actually have helped solve a mystery from the photo that J.J. Abrams tweeted from the first day of filming. It was a shot of Chewbacca and Finn in the Millennium Falcon cockpit, but there was also another figure, sitting in the pilot’s seat. Much of the speculation centered on this figure either being Daisy Ridley or J.J. Abrams… but it appears that it actually may have been Oscar Isaac. Why? Well, the figure sitting in the Falcon cockpit appeared to be wearing a very similar shirt to the one that these leaked set photos confirm Poe is wearing. That doesn’t guarantee it, but it makes it far more likely that this figure in the Falcon is actually Poe.
All things considered these leaked pictures don’t really give us spoilers for the film, but they’re cool to see and give us our first look at the Falcon, Poe, Finn, Chewie, and some potential locations for the film.