Star Wars: Episode IX is currently wrapping up its shoot in England, with the film having recently captured scenes in their spiritual home of Pinewood Studios, in the Cardington Air Shed (which might suggest a return to Yavin 4) and now, in a mysterious snowy location.
We’ve seen pictures of this before, but the latest one comes from Instagram user Luke Griffin, who explains that the photo shows the set being dressed with snow. Now, mention a snowy location to any self-respecting Star Wars fan and there’s one name that’ll immediately spring to mind: Hoth. The ice planet left an indelible impression in the minds of fans the moment we saw it in The Empire Strikes Back, and it’s gone on to be recreated many, many times in video game form.
But let’s face it, while there’s a light dusting of snow, this picture doesn’t look particularly Hoth-y. That place was an icy tundra as far as the eye could see, while this location has lush forest growth that seems to indicate a seasonal climate.
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So, it’s either a location we’ve seen at an unfamiliar time of year or, most likely a new place altogether. While it would be appropriate for the last film in the Skywalker saga to do a sort of greatest hits of Star Wars locations, it’d also feel a bit like a nostalgia trip. You can excuse one of those in The Force Awakens, but given that The Last Jedi did its best to move away from revering the past, Episode IX should really try its best to break new ground.
In any case, we should get an idea of what’s to come fairly soon. There won’t be a Star Wars: Episode IX trailer at the Super Bowl on Sunday, but I think we’ll get a title announcement shortly, with our first look at the film coming at the annual Star Wars Celebration in April. As always, watch this space for more.