It’s official: filming has wrapped on Star Wars: Episode IX. The final installment in the Skywalker Saga is set to be the return of J.J. Abrams after he directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015. To celebrate, Abrams released the film’s first photo.
Production on Star Wars 9 has continued for more than five months and has seen the crew journey all over the world to do so. The bulk of filming took place at Pinewood Studios UK, but there was also an extended stay near Jordan that reportedly featured most of the main cast members like Daisy Ridley.
Despite multiple leaks, no official photos had been released from the upcoming Star Wars film until today. In a tweet, director J.J. Abrams confirmed that initial photography on the as-yet-untitled Star Wars: Episode IX has finished, with a shot of Rey, Finn and Poe locked in an embrace.
“It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on Episode IX,” Abrams wrote. “There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast. I’m forever indebted to you all.”
While fans will appreciate both the sight of their favorites in a fond embrace and Abrams describing the cast and crew as “magical,” they might nonetheless feel shortchanged that no title for the movie was revealed to accompany the end of photography announcement. For the last two Star Wars films, Lucasfilm has announced the title of the movie with the official announcement that production is done. This happened through a simple tweet by the Star Wars account in November 2014 to confirm Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ title, while StarWars.com published an actual article in January of 2017 announcing Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Separately, Lucasfilm announced Triple Force Friday, an Oct. 4 launch for merchandise not only for Episode IX, but also the Disney+ streaming series The Mandalorian, and also the EA/Respawn video game Star Wars: Jedi — Fallen Order, launching at the end of 2019. The placement of both show and game on par with Episode IX arguably displays Disney and Lucasfilm’s priorities in terms of what Star Wars will be in future, and what platforms will be prioritized.
Episode IX hits theaters Dec. 20.