JJ Abrams has started filming the final movie in the three trilogies, with sets already confirmed in the UK and Jordan.
He has a lot of work to do to satisfy nine movies-worth of plot and unimaginable fan expectations. This is not helped by the furious backlash against Rian Johnson and Kathleen Kennedy after The Last Jedi.
The Episode 9 director has already committed to honouring as much legacy and franchise material as he can.
The latest reports from one of the UK sets signals that fans could finally see the return of one of the biggest, iconically as well as physically, Star Wars characters of all time.
The latest report says: “One of the descriptions has to do with a scene for Episode 9. They do plan on shooting a scene involving Finn, Poe and Rose over at the Cardington Sheds.”
RAF Cardington is a former Royal Air Force station in Bedfordshire, England. The Star Wars film series has used both Sheds 1 and 2 for filming major scenes reprsenting Yavin Base in A New Hope and Rogue One.
Star Wars commentator Mike Zeroh adds: “One of the storyboard scenes has to with Finn and Poe being handcuffed in front of a Hutt, who is believed to be Rotta.”
Yes, that is Rotta the Hutt, who is the son and heir of one of the most iconic figures, villain or otherwise, in the entire Star Wars franchise.
There were considerable rumours that Jabba the Hutt might appear in Solo A Star Wars Story, but he was only mentioned at the very end of the movie.
Rotta has only briefly been seen before on screen, as a rather cute baby, in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, when he was captured by Separatists. Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano returned him to Jabba, in exchange for the safe passage of Republic ships through his territory.
The report concludes: “It is followed by Finn and Poe escaping, being followed by First Order stormtroopers down an alleyway, before they meet up with Rose an an unidentified character. The scene is being shot at Cardington.”.
As well Abrams determination to honour the legacy of the prequel and original trilogies, this throws up some issues – and not just because Rose has proved to be one of the most devisive characters, heavily criticised by many fans.
When it was released, there was considerable criticism that The Force Awakens followed A New Hope a little too closely.
A rescue or escape scene featuring the Hutts, sounds like a clear echo of the mission from Episode 6 when Luke, Leia and Lando infiltrate Jabba’s palace to rescue Han Solo.
The reported scene does thrown up more tantalising questions about Episode 9, however.
Does this mean that Finn and Poe will be already prisoners when the movie begins, or will they be captured during yet another daring mission?