Star Wars: Episode IX will reportedly shoot scenes at Cardington Airship Sheds, which was a location used for A New Hope and Rogue One. Later this month, director J.J. Abrams will begin production on the sequel trilogy finale, bringing an end to the story he started with 2015's The Force Awakens. In what has become standard practice for both the studio and the filmmaker, details are being kept close to the chest, though there's currently no shortage of rumors popping up online.
Since the franchise's humble beginnings, the galaxy far, far away has been fond of filming in the United Kingdom. Scenes for the original trilogy were shot at Elstree Studios, while the four Star Wars movies of the Disney era have called Pinewood home. It's expected Episode IX will follow suit in that regard, but it will also revisit another England-based location from an earlier series installment.
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Star Wars News Net heard from English airship historian Trevor Monk that Episode IX will film sequences at Cardington Airship Sheds in Bedforshire, U.K. Previously, Cardington was used for the Rebellion base on Yavin IV in New Hope and Rogue One. It's currently unknown what Episode IX needs it for, but this is a nice way of bringing the saga full circle.
It should be noted that Cardington is something of a hotspot for tentpole productions, including The Dark Knight, Inception, Justice League, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The sheds can be turned into whatever the director requires, so this isn't necessarily a sign Star Wars 9 will take audiences back to Yavin. While it's true the Resistance needs a new base of operations, the Massassi Temple isn't exactly the most secretive of locations anymore, so the heroes will probably look elsewhere. Besides, after intentionally inserting similarities to New Hope in The Force Awakens, Abrams knows he needs to go outside the box a bit for this go-around. It's entirely plausible Cardington will once again play the Rebels' headquarters, but the planet should be different.
With this development in mind, it's only a matter of time before Lucasfilm officially announces the start of Episode IX production, ideally revealing a full cast list in the process. Recently, there have been reports about new roles Abrams is looking to add, but there curiously are no actors rumored or attached for them. Additionally, people are still wondering what the plan is for General Leia Organa and if Mark Hamill will cameo as a Luke Skywalker Force ghost. Fans shouldn't expect all of this information to be unveiled at once, but hopefully there's a little more clarity in just a few weeks.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019