Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to wrap filming in February 2019. As difficult as this is to believe, the end of the franchise's sequel trilogy (and Skywalker saga in general) is upon us. Director J.J. Abrams recently commenced production, assembling a talented cast consisting of series veterans and newcomers. In typical Lucasfilm fashion, plot details are largely being kept under wraps, but the studio has thankfully been transparent about some elements, like the plan for Carrie Fisher's General Leia.
Anyone who's watched a behind-the-scenes documentary for a Star Wars film knows they are massive undertakings and aren't easy to make. Of course, there's a lot of work to be done in post-production with all of the visual effects required to bring the galaxy far, far away to life, but the actual principal photography is no walk in the park either. Abrams and his team are in for the long haul and will be busy for quite a while.
According to GWW, Episode IX production should be finished in February. This means filming will go on for about six months. That seems like a pretty lengthy shoot, but it's quite standard for a movie such as this. For example, Abrams' own The Force Awakens was in production from May to November 2014 - a similar timeframe. Even The Last Jedi, which ran smoothly under Rian Johnson's watch, took five months to film. It's possible there are also holiday breaks worked into this schedule.
While the ever-active Star Wars rumor mill will certainly churn up nuggets of information for fans to speculate during that time, there likely won't be any official revelations from the studio until early next year. In keeping with series tradition, Lucasfilm probably won't announce the title until filming has concluded. It wouldn't be surprising for them to put out a press release once Abrams wraps, celebrating the occasion. Production wrapping in February would also give Lucasfilm's marketing department plenty of time to cut together a teaser trailer to premiere at Star Wars Celebration 2019, which takes place in April. From there, the studio will continue to build up hype until Christmas.
One thing that can be said with a fair amount of certainty is that Episode IX filming should be a little less eventful than the productions of both Rogue One and (especially) Solo. Outside of a short delay caused by Harrison Ford's broken leg, filming on The Force Awakens took place without any major issues. That's arguably the main reason why Abrams was hired for the job once things fell apart with Colin Trevorrow. He works well in the system and is someone Kathleen Kennedy trusts. The last thing they need is another public falling out with a director.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019