‘Star Wars: Episode IX’: The Biggest Spoilers We Know So Far
We’ve been looking forward to this: the Star Wars: Episode IX leaks have officially begun.
With production on the highly-anticipated next installment in the Skywalker saga having kicked off at the beginning of the month, we’re now starting to receive a steady trickle of news and leaks, with one recent photo dump making hardcore fans absolutely giddy.
Let’s take a look at all of the spoilers we’ve learned about Episode IX so far. Don’t worry: most of them are somewhat minor, so don’t expect to have a major death ruined for you by reading on.
Luke and Lando are both in it
After The Last Jedi, fans were all pretty sure that Luke would be back in Episode IX, but nobody knew whether Lucasfilm would straight-up announced that or whether they would try to keep his appearance a surprise.
They opted for the former option, letting us know earlier this summer that Mark Hamill will indeed return for the movie. At this time, nobody really knows how significant his role in the production will be, but filming has now commenced, and there hasn’t been any confirmation that his work has begun.
Speaking of returning classic characters, we also know that Billy Dee Williams will return as Lando Calrissian, although once again, we don’t know how significant his role in the movie will be.
Leia will be in it, and her role will be surprising
When Lucasfilm announced the cast list for Episode IX, the big bombshell was that Carrie Fisher was included. According to the studio, old footage of Fisher will be used in order to complete Leia’s story.
“With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII,” J.J. Abrams said.
Later, Carrie Fisher’s brother, Gary, revealed that footage from The Last Jedi will be used as well, which suggests that Leia probably isn’t just in one scene. He also said that the role is going to be a big surprise for fans.
Snap Wexley is likely back
After having a decent sized role in The Force Awakens and showing up in the canon novels and comics, Temmin “Snap” Wexley was nowhere to be found in The Last Jedi.
Apparently, he’s going to return in Episode IX, though. Greg Grunberg was asked in an interview whether he would be in IX, and he suggested that he is and that this is the only reason he still has his beard.
“You know what – we’d better or else my wife is going to kill me for growing a beard,” he told Yahoo Entertainment. “I can’t officially say anything, but this is getting itchy, and I’m getting itchy to go over there and do it.”
So while Grunberg didn’t technically confirm it, there’s basically no other way to interpret that quote than that he’s coming back in Episode IX.
Keri Russell and Richard E. Grant have joined the cast
In addition to the returning characters, there will also be some new ones, including one played by Keri Russell. Lucasfilm has officially confirmed that she will be a part of the cast, and although we haven’t heard anything about who she will play, the prevailing fan theory is that she will be one of the Knights of Ren.
Richard E. Grant has also joined the cast. Initially, fans speculated that he could be playing Grand Admiral Thrawn, although Grant recently flat out said that this is not the case.
Naomi Ackie will be joining the cast of Episode IX as well. Once again, there’s not yet any word on who she’ll play.
Yavin 4 might be in it
Might we be returning to Yavin 4, the site of the rebel base in A New Hope?
That’s what some fans think based on the fact that scenes for Episode IX will reportedly be filmed at Cardington Airship Sheds in Bedforshire, which is where the Yavin 4 scenes were shot both for A New Hope and for Rogue One.
Granted, there’s always the chance that production is heading there to film a different scene, as it’s basically just a giant shed that a film crew can build whatever they want in. Still, this definitely increases the likelihood that we’ll be heading back to this classic location.
The Falcon goes to some sort of forest planet
Speaking of Yavin 4, we recently got our first leaked photos from Episode IX, with Making Star Wars posting what appeared to be pictures of the Millennium Falcon in some sort of a forest location.
We don’t know what planet this is supposed to be, but there are a few options. It could be Yavin 4, fitting with the previous report. It could be Takodana, the planet where Maz’s Castle was located. It could be Endor, although it’s hard to imagine Abrams would go back there after being so heavily criticized for ripping off A New Hope with The Force Awakens.
Finally, it could be an entirely new forest planet, maybe even Batuu, which is the basis of the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park in Disney World.
Finn, Poe and Chewie go on a mission together
Very soon after getting those leaked pictures from the forest location, we got even more significant set photos leaked from The Sun, which contained several spoilers in one.
We’ll start with the most basic one: it appears that Poe and Finn are going to be paired together on an adventure in the movie. In this picture, they’re seen in what seems to be a totally new location, with Chewie and a bunch of unidentified people accompanying them. Rey and Rose are nowhere to be found.
At the same time, John Boyega said earlier this year that Finn and Rey are “back together again” in Episode IX, suggesting that they share a decent number of scenes. So perhaps all of the characters spend the early part of the movie together, only to split up later on, and at that point, Finn and Poe end up paired off. It could also be the opposite, with the movie opening with this Poe and Finn mission and with the characters all getting together later. Either way, this is great news for fans of these two who were bummed to see them kept apart during The Last Jedi.
Poe is probably going to fly the Falcon
There was another significant spoiler hiding in plain sight in those set photos. You’ll notice that both Poe and Finn are sporting new looks, with Finn, in particular, having longer hair than we last saw him.
But look closely at what Poe’s wearing and you’ll see that it’s basically identical to the outfit an unidentified person was wearing in a set photo J.J. Abrams himself posted earlier this month. Although it was unclear at the time, we can now look back on that photo and see it as Finn and Poe chatting in the Falcon, with Poe sitting in the pilot’s seat.
This suggests that, yes, Poe might actually fly the Falcon in Episode IX.
There might be nerfs in it
One last bit of information in those new leaked set photos: we can see horses in them that are clearly going to be turned into some sort of alien creatures in post-production.
We don’t know what these things are, but fans speculate that they could be nerfs, the furry animals made famous when Leia called Han Solo a “scruffy-looking nerf herder” in The Empire Strikes Back. We’ve never seen a nerf in any of the movies before, but we’ve seen them in the comics, and it’s easy to see how these creatures from the pictures could be turned into the live-action versions of the nerfs.
In fact, one fun theory is that Lando Calrissian himself has retired and become a nerf herder, and Poe and Finn are sent on a mission to recruit him in the fight against the First Order.