12:41pm PT by Graeme McMillan
'Star Wars: Episode IX' Wraps as Lucasfilm Plans "Triple Force Friday"
An important milestone has been reached in a galaxy far, far away — but even the conclusion of the Skywalker saga is not the end of Star Wars, as Lucasfilm also announced the 2019 edition of its merchandise reveal day, which, this year, reflects the growing state of the franchise.
In a tweet, director J.J. Abrams confirmed that initial photography on the currently untitled Star Wars: Episode IX has finished, with a shot of three of the main cast members from the new trilogy of movies. While fans will appreciate the sight of their favorites in a fond embrace and Abrams describing the cast and crew as "magical," they still might feel shortchanged that no title for the movie was revealed to accompany the end of photography announcement — as was the case with The Force Awakens back in 2014. Episode IX hits theaters Dec. 20.
Separately, Lucasfilm announced "Triple Force Friday," an Oct. 4 launch for merchandise not only for Episode IX, but also the Disney+ streaming series, The Mandalorian, and also the EA/Respawn video game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, launching at the end of 2019. The placement of the show and the game so nearby to Episode IX arguably displays Disney and Lucasfilm’s priorities in terms of what Star Wars will be in the future, and what platforms will be prioritized.
According to Lucasfilm, products "spanning categories from toys to collectibles, housewares, books, apparel and more" will be released in support of the three projects across the world that day, with more details to be revealed in the months to come.
It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on Episode IX. There is no adequate way to thank this truly magical crew and cast. I’m forever indebted to you all. pic.twitter.com/138AprtFuZ— JJ Abrams (@jjabrams) February 15, 2019