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Star Wars: Episode IX To Begin Filming In January 2018

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is still half a year away, but Lucasfilm has reportedly already locked in a start date for the subsequent installment.

Vanity Fair recently unveiled its exclusive Star Wars interview, in which The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson dished about a "different" Luke Skywalker, revealed a pair of new characters (played by Benicio del Toro and Laura Dern), and talked all about his scriptwriting process. But buried beneath the exciting Last Jedi details was a tiny update on Star Wars: Episode IX

According to the magazine's coverage, Episode IX is scheduled to begin filming in January 2018. That's only eight months away from the time of this writing. 

Episode IX was originally intended to center around General Leia Organa, but Carrie Fisher's unexpected and untimely passing last December caused Lucasfilm to reevaluate the film's narrative. While the late Peter Cushing was brought back to life using CGI to "reprise" his role as Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the same won't be done for Fisher's Leia in Episode IX. "We don't have any intention of beginning a trend of re-creating actors who are gone," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told Vanity Fair

After Fisher's death, Lucasfilm began the writing process over again to whip up an all-new story: "Kennedy, Trevorrow, and the Lucasfilm team have been compelled to swing from grieving into pragmatic mode, working out how to reconceive the next film in the saga."

However, Lucasfilm hasn't yet finalized the script for Episode IX. With a shooting start date looming overhead, the studio would be wise to buckle down and iron out the story specifics.

Episode IX is set for release on May 24, 2019. Until then, check out the other movies that will blow us all away that year.