Star Wars: JJ Abrams Marks 'Bittersweet' Start of Production on Episode IX

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Abrams is marking the occasion with a sweet note attached to the first "set photo"-although don't get too excited, as the camera is the only thing in focus". In addition, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson replied to Abrams' message with his own amusing tweet. A final tribute was aimed at George Lucas, who Abrams thanked for "creating this incredible world and beginning a story of which we are lucky to be a part". Abrams is returning to the series to close out the sequel trilogy he started when he directed Episode VII - The Force Awakens, although during that production, he chronicled the filming through the Twitter account of his production company, Bad Robot.

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Disney and Lucasfilm confirmed on Friday that Fisher would be appearing in "Episode IX," which is set to hit theaters on December 20, 2019. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio (Argo, Justice League).

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The tweet doubles as the first official photo from Episode IX, showing a blurry shot of John Boyega as Finn and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. Billy Dee Williams will return to reprise his role as Lando Calrissian, while Anthony Daniels will return as C-3PO.

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The director celebrated the first day of filming "Star Wars: Episode IX" on Wednesday by joining the social media platform for the first time, giving a special shout-out to the film's cast and crew, as well as those who couldn't be there.

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