J.J. Abrams Shares Carrie Fisher Tribute as 'Star Wars IX' Production Begins

And The Winner Isnt - JJ ABRAMS -Still 3 -  Publicity-H 2017
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The filmmaker sent his first tweet Wednesday: "Bittersweet starting this next chapter without Carrie."

J.J. Abrams has sent his first tweet as he heads back to a galaxy far, far away.

The filmmaker penned a message honoring the late Carrie Fisher, and shared the first photo from the Star Wars: Episode IX set Wednesday.

"Bittersweet starting this next chapter without Carrie, but thanks to an extraordinary cast and crew, we are ready to go," he wrote. "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."

Last week, Lucasfilm unveiled it's full cast for Star Wars: Episode IX and also revealed that Fisher would appear, via unused footage from 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

"We desperately loved Carrie Fisher,” Abrams said in last week's statement. “Finding a truly satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga without her eluded us. We were never going to recast, or use a CG character. With the support and blessing from her daughter, Billie [Lourd], we have found a way to honor Carrie’s legacy and role as Leia in Episode IX by using unseen footage we shot together in Episode VII.”

Fisher died in December 2016. Mark Hamill has noted it will be "bittersweet" returning to play Luke Skywalker without Fisher, while the late star's brother Todd Fisher has credited Abrams for allowing Leia to be a part of the concluding chapter of the Skywalker saga.

Star Wars: Episode IX  began filming  at Pinewood Studios in London. It opens Dec. 20, 2019.