Late last week, I had a brief correspondence with a few sources. The information I received reminded me of the tidbits they gave me from Star Wars: The Last Jedi as the production went to Dubrovnik a few years back. The correspondence consisted of “you won’t believe where we are” and with pictures of a few landmarks in Jordan. The word on the street for a while was that filming for a few sequences would take place in Turkey but now I’m thinking Jordan may have won out in the end.
Star Wars in Jordan
Behind the scenes, Jordan could be significant for Star Wars: Episode IX for a few reasons. The first reason is that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was going to film all of Jakku using Jordan. All of the concept art and plans for Niima Outpost was for that set to be constructed in Jordan, including Rey’s AT-AT homestead. In fact, the photoshopped concept art used photography from Jordan to make the concept pieces as authentic to what they would shoot there. With J.J. Abrams back as a writer and director and with Jordan potentially on the table, it could mean we go back to Jakku in Star Wars: Episode IX. Jordan lost out on the Star Wars: The Force Awakens production when Abu Dhabi gave the production a better deal to film using its locations.
However, after the production of The Force Awakens, Jordan did end up being used for filming in the Jedha location shots from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. So while Jakku could be the place Rey and her friends return to, it could just as easily be Jedha. Based on the information we have at the moment and with that planet’s potential lush history of Jedi places and artifacts it could be someplace Rey needs to visit in Episode IX.
Could Rey go back to Jakku to start her order where the Church of the Force once stood? Or does Rey go to Jedha to “scavenge” something left there and not destroyed by Krennic’s Death Star test? Both locations make sense and as of now we don’t know if filming Star Wars in Jordan is for either of those planets or some new location we’ve never heard of before.
We also had reason to believe that during the production of The Force Awakens, there was going to be a shot of Leia and Han dropping young Ben Solo off at Luke’s academy and saying goodbye to Ben Solo for the last time. We don’t know if this moment was filmed in the end as the story was shifted around when Harrison Ford was injured and the flashback sequence was changed a lot. But it seemed like most of those moments where filmed using Jakku sets pieces and dirt. For a while we thought the moment where Luke put his robotic hand on Artoo’s head was Jakku for this reason.
Hopefully we hear more about the production of Star Wars: Episode IX to keep our imaginations running over the next few months of filming.