UPDATE: SWNN discovered this set photo is from a Pirates of the Caribbean movie. The original article follows
A new set photo from Star Wars: Episode IX shows a mysterious jungle location in ruins. Recently, most of the headlines concerning the franchise have been about the upcoming Mandalorian TV show, but director J.J. Abrams remains hard at work calling the shots on the sequel trilogy finale. Production started back in August and will run through February of next year. Obviously, plot details remain firmly under wraps, but the creative team is enjoying the loose atmosphere and hope to end the Skywalker saga on a high note.
Lucasfilm does their best to maintain secrecy over their projects, but even they aren't immune to set leaks that are common on production of highly-anticipated films. Previously, images depicted Poe Dameron, Finn, and Chewbacca on a mission for the Resistance, while others featured an unknown jungle planet. That latter location might be the topic of this latest leak.
Appearing on imgur from user kyloknowsbest (hat tip Star Wars News Net) comes a photo of a set being constructed on a sound stage. As viewers can see, there are remnants of stone buildings covered in moss and vines. The set was not completed at the time this picture was taken, but it's nevertheless a fascinating look behind-the-scenes of Episode IX.
Since Abrams is the one calling the shots, the jokes of Episode IX having parallels to the earlier Star Wars movies write themselves. It would be easy to theorize this is a planet fans have seen before, be it Naboo, Yavin, or even Takodana. Of course, the Star Wars galaxy is known for having multiple planets with similar landscapes. In the films, there are no less than three snow planets (Hoth, Starkiller, and Vandor) and numerous sand/desert worlds. When the first Force Awakens teaser was released, many people thought Jakku was Tatooine. It's entirely possible this is a different location. After all, every new Star Wars movie adds to the property's ever-growing list of planets.
That isn't to say Abrams won't revisit an old Star Wars location, but there's currently no concrete evidence pointing in that direction. And after the first two installments of the sequel trilogy took place entirely on new planets, it seems unlikely Episode IX will reverse the trend. There's no denying the design of this world calls to mind the film's predecessors, though, so it'll be interesting to see what happens. It'll still be some time before Lucasfilm revs up the Episode IX marketing campaign, where the first wave of answers will be revealed.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019