Mark Pickup, an extra on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, mentions that the Skywalker saga could return to the desert wasteland of Jakku in Star Wars: Episode IX. Though viewers are still waiting to see the middle chapter of the sequel trilogy, Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi, Lucasfilm is gearing up to start filming on the grand finale. Production on Star Wars 9 is set to begin in January 2018, ahead of the film's May 2019 release date. Recently, BAFTA winner Jack Thorne was brought on to rewrite the script, as director Colin Trevorrow handles his various pre-production responsibilities.
Chief among the tasks on Trevorrow's to-do list is location scouting, figuring out which real-world places will be used to bring the galaxy far, far away to life. That job might be a little easier, thanks to the work done by J.J. Abrams and crew during their time on Episode VII. From the sound of things, the story group is planning another journey to Jakku.
While on the Everything Geek Podcast (hat tip Making Star Wars), Mark Pickup (who played a Jakku scavenger) said he's heard when Episode IX commences principal photography next year, the plan is to go back to Abu Dhabi to shoot a scene. For those not in the know, Abu Dhabi was used for Jakku in the first act of The Force Awakens, so it appears as if audiences will see Rey's home world again. Of course, this is far from official confirmation, but Pickup is a member of the Star Wars family, so he's probably privy to some information about upcoming projects. It's not out of the question for the franchise to use the same actor for multiple roles (see: Warwick Davis), so Lucasfilm may have reached out to Pickup to see if he's available for Episode IX.
Since there are still four months to go until The Last Jedi premieres, it's borderline impossible to predict story beats for Star Wars 9 at this point in time. Based on Pickup's comments, it doesn't sound like Jakku would factor heavily into the Episode IX story, appearing for only a sequence or two. Though Rey's parentage will finally be revealed in The Last Jedi, it's possible viewers see another flashback that depicts more of her history to flesh her mysterious backstory out. Of course, with rumors saying Tatooine might show up in the new trilogy, Abu Dhabi could be used for that planet instead of Jakku. Time will tell, but it looks like Star Wars is going back to the desert in 2019.
Since Trevorrow begins rolling his cameras in about five months, some details about Episode IX should be made public soon. This would include not only the cast list (with any new roles), but also the filming locations and Lucasfilm closes the book on another trilogy in the saga. The studio will probably wait until after The Last Jedi hype dies down to share any information they have, but fortunately that is right around the corner.
Source: Making Star Wars
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019