A couple of days ago, it was revealed that the working title for Star Wars: Episode IX would be Black Diamond. Speculation started swirling concerning the name’s importance, despite most working titles don’t often have connections to the film themselves.
Be warned there are some minor spoilers for The Last Jedi ahead.
Fans and blogs alike started to theorize linkage between Snoke‘s ring (has connections to Dwartii) and the Black Diamond title via the visual guide book. In the book, it reveals the black gem is from the catacombs underneath Darth Vader’s castle on Mustafar.
Snoke’s throne scene took direct inspiration from this unused Ralph McQuarrie art that had the Emperor’s throne in catacombs.
Along with Snoke himself taking visual cues from some of Ralph’s Emperor designs from Empire Strikes back which obviously was taken for Snoke’s hologram scenes.
The castle has been teased for years in scripts and concept artwork from the original trilogy but ultimately made it’s debut in Rogue One. The film also teased advanced tracking technology that would be used in The Last Jedi. There’s a good chance they were establishing the castle for future films as well.
Here are some of Ralph’s castle designs.
Below is a piece of official concept art originally intended for The Force Awakens which features the castle and a bunch of Tie-Fighters. Abrams might at one time planned on using the location and could have a second chance in his next installment.
There’s a good chance the link to the ring might have to do with Kylo Ren assuming leadership over The First Order. Could J.J. have Kylo make his base of operations Mustafar in the sequel?
I could see Abrams recycling this artwork as well.
Production is set to begin in June at Pinewood Studios UK, with a release date set for December 20th, 2019.