11 Feb – Just months after the success of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", the upcoming episode is officially 'awake' as Disney CEO Bob Iger confirms.
According to IGN, Iger also mentioned that the production of episode IX has also begun, but it is assumed he was referring to the pre-production and not the principal photography.
The next chapter premieres in December of 2017 after delaying its initial release of May 2017 and is said to have two female leads.
Gina Rodriguez and Olivia Cook are the ladies expected to take on the new roles with "Concussion" star Gugu Mbatha-Raw also said to be up for the film.
John Boyega who plays Finn, reveals that the sequel will be much darker than "The Force Awakens" and that he will have a bigger role involving more physical scenes.
Anakin Skywalker is also rumoured to return, as the story will center more on the Skywalker family, this means we might see actor Hayden Christensen one more time as the Sith Lord.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" broke records at the box office as it took third place for a film to make more than USD 2 billion at the global box office.
The movie also grossed more than USD 3 billion from merchandise sales.
"There is no better way to propel this franchise into the future than producing quality products. Filming of Star Wars: Episode VIII, the next chapter of the legendary saga, has just commenced and it will be in theaters December. And production of Episode IX, a 2019 release, has also begun," says Iger.
Their standalone film "Star Wars: Rogue One" is said to be virtually complete and it is due for release at the end of this year.