Here is what we know so far about the next movie in the main saga, coming to a Cineworld near you in December 2019.
JJ Abrams is back…
...though he wasn't meant to be. For two years, Jurassic World helmer Colin Trevorrow was the man entrusted to bring the Skywalker saga to its end, but the writer/director parted company with Lucasfilm in September 2017. Within weeks, it was announced that JJ Abrams, who helped take The Force Awakens to such soaring box office heights, would be back in the writer and director's seat.
"I had no intention to return," Abrams has said. "But when the opportunity presented itself to finish a story that we had begun with these new characters, to tell the last chapter of their story, it felt like there was a chance to do it in a way where we could go beyond, and do better than we did in The Force Awakens."
It's the final part of the original saga
There's plenty more Star Wars in the offing (not only more standalone spin-off movies, but two new trilogies and a TV series - oh, Lucasfilm, you're spoiling us), but this, it's said, will be the closing of the story that started 41 years ago with A New Hope.
So it's likely going to be goodbye to the scrolling opening titles sequence, farewell to the Skywalker family, sayonara to C-3PO and R2-D2 and ta-ra to the Millennium Falcon… It'll be the end of an era, that's for sure.
Leia won't be in it…
After the heartbreaking death of Carrie Fisher in December 2016, Lucasfilm confirmed that they weren't going to do a CGI job on Leia for Episode 9. So, given that Fisher's character won't be in the movie at all, how will they explain her absence?
Will she actually be killed off, off-screen, or will Abrams and co find another, more inventive and hopeful way to write Leia out of the picture? Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy has said before that Episode 9 was to have given Leia her biggest role of the new trilogy, so there must have been some frantic rethinking after her unexpected passing.
...But will Luke?
It's probable that, after his vanishing act at the end of The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker won't be in Episode 9 as a flesh-and-blood character, but what about as a Force ghost? He didn't perish in the traditional sense of the word in The Last Jedi, but faded away just like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, both of whom later reappeared as misty Force apparitions.
We can't imagine that Star Wars fanboy Abrams is going to end the Skywalker family saga without its most iconic name somewhere in the mix.
It starts filming VERY soon
In a TV interview in February, Abrams confirmed that the script was finished and filming would commence towards the end of July. John Boyega backed up the July start date in an interview on The One Show, saying, "I know I start filming in July. They're prepping and planning. JJ has a script, but I haven't read it yet." When The Last Jedi began shooting back in 2016, Lucasfilm released a behind-the-scenes teaser trailer, so can we expect something similar within the next few weeks? Fingers crossed. Watch this space…
Star Wars: Episode 9 arrives at Cineworld on 19 December 2019. What do you think of the developments so far? How should they deal with Leia's departure and will Luke make an appearance? Let us know by Tweeting us @Cineworld.