“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ended on a note of both hope and mystery, leaving viewers what’s in store for heroine Rey (Daisy Ridley) and the rest of the gang from that galaxy far, far away. The answers (well, at least some of them) will be revealed in “Star Wars: Episode VIII”. Which, according to the studio, just kicked off principal photography yesterday.
Lucasfilm posted an announcement video which you can view below, featuring director Rian Johnson on the set on Ireland’s Skellig Michael Island (standing in as the planet “Ahch-To”) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) himself.
Some interesting casting details were also announced, with Oscar winner Benicio del Toro (“Traffic”, “Sicario”) and Laura Dern (“Jurassic Park”) joining in the fun. Del Toro is rumoured to play a baddie, though it’s unknown how significant his part will be.
Here’s the official press release: “Star Wars: Episode VIII, which is written and directed by Rian Johnson and continues the storylines introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, welcomes back cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis. New cast members will include Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro, Academy Award nominee Laura Dern, and talented newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.
Star Wars: Episode VIII is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski. Joining the production crew will be some of the industry’s top talent, including Steve Yedlin (Director of Photography), Bob Ducsay (Editor), Rick Heinrichs (Production Designer), Peter Swords King (Hair and Make-Up Designer), and Mary Vernieu (US Casting Director). They will be joining returning crew members Pippa Anderson (Co-Producer, VP Post Production), Neal Scanlan (Creature & Droid FX Creative Supervisor), Michael Kaplan (Costume Designer), Jamie Wilkinson (Prop Master), Chris Corbould (SFX Supervisor), Rob Inch (Stunt Coordinator), Ben Morris (VFX Supervisor), and Nina Gold (UK Casting Director).
Star Wars: Episode VIII is scheduled for release December 15, 2017.”