Did Star Wars: Episode IX's cinematographer share a lighting photo from the movie's set?

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Aug 13, 2018

Has another behind-the-scenes photo from the production of Star Wars: Episode IX made its way online? The movie's cinematographer Dan Mindel recently shared a cryptic photo on Instagram, which may or may not have something to do with the sequel but which quickly spurred chatter that it may be from the last installment in the saga's new trilogy.

Having worked with director J.J. Abrams on Mission: Impossible III and Star Trek, Mindel also handled the camera work for The Force Awakens in 2015. He wasn't brought on for The Last Jedi, as Rian Johnson preferred to work with his longtime collaborator Steve Yedlin. 

Mindel's photo shows a ton of lights hanging from the ceiling of a closed set, which he captioned as: 

"Space lights ..... unbeatable quality source of ambient lighting...6000 watts 6 lamps or 3000 watts 3 lamps!" wrote the South African cinematographer in the post's caption.

Nevertheless, doubt is being cast on the photo's origin, with some speculating that it's actually from Mindel's time spent on Disney's John Carter. The big-budget adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom series from director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo) was a critical and financial flop when it first hit theaters in 2012. 

Anyway, the image Mindel posted this week was very similar to one he posted in 2015, as pointed out by one Twitter user. A quick search of Mindel's Instagram feed from that year reveals that there was no accompanying caption with the picture. 

Regardless, sharing cryptic teasers from the sets of Star Wars movies is nothing new. Ron Howard did it all the time for Solo: A Star Wars Story and J.J. Abrams used his Twitter account for the first time, letting the world known that IX had kicked off production.

The currently untitled Star Wars: Episode IX arrives in theaters Dec. 20, 2019. It'll bring back all the usual cast of characters, with surprising returns from Billy Dee Williams (Lando) and pre-shot footage of the late Carrie Fisher (Leia). 

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