Episode IX as filming begins

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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".

J.J. Abrams attends the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 14, 2016. It's unclear, but it's exciting. Grateful for @rianjohnson and special thanks to George Lucas for creating this incredible world and beginning a story of which we are lucky to be a part.

In other Star Wars news, London's Prop Store is hosting an Entertainment Memorabilia Auction on September 20, and one of the items is the jacket worn by Harison Ford (Han Solo) in The Empire Strikes Back.

This first "on-set" photo suggests that Abrams is going to continue his annoying habit of sharing exclusive set photos that reveal absolutely nothing - exactly as he did during The Force Awakens. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio (Argo, Justice League). But joining the crew this time around are newcomers Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell and Naomi Ackie, and returning to the galaxy is Billy Dee Williams reprising his role as Lando Calrissian.

"With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie, we have found a way to honour Carrie's legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII".

Check out the tweet and image below.

With production now underway on Star Wars: Episode IX, prepare for plenty for J.J. Abrams updates from now until the movie's December 2019 release.