Filming has officially kicked off for Star Wars: Episode IX and here to mark it is superstar director J.J. Abrams who uploaded a set photo to his newly made social media accounts.

Abrams, who directed The Force Awakens, has returned to helm the final instalment in the new trilogy presumably picking up where The Last Jedi stopped off. Otherwise known as Rey and Ben Solo still on opposing sides.

The 52-year-old paid tribute to Princess Leia actor Carrie Fisher writing it’s been a “bittersweet” start to filming. Star Wars recently announced they’d be using previously unreleased footage of Fisher as Princess Leia from The Force Awakens, to complete the character’s story.

Fisher died at the age of 60 in December 2016 after completing production on Episode VII. 

In his Instagram post Abrams also thanked “an extraordinary cast and crew.”

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. #IX”

I am not the best at deciphering blurred pictures but I’m pretty sure we’ve got Chewbacca, Finn, and a mystery person in the background there piloting a ship.

Yesterday, Finn AKA John Boyega welcomed brand new co-star Naomi Ackie to the set in a very sweet Instagram post:

Welcome to a whole new world Naomi Ackie! ????????????????????????????????????????

A post shared by John Boyega (@johnboyega) on

For the moment, it’s still unclear who Ackie will be playing in the flick.

Meanwhile, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Issac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd are all set to reprise their roles. New faces include Richard E. Grant and Keri Russell while living legends and Star Wars alumni Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams will return as their iconic characters.

Star Wars: Episode IX will fly into cinemas December 2019. 

Once again, that’s now 504 days and counting according to howmanydaysuntilstarwars.com. 

Image: Instagram / J.J. Abrams