Felt a great disturbance in The Force? That'll probably be because the cameras are now rolling on a new Star Wars film. Episode VIII began production in earnest last week, but now principal photography has now been officially confirmed by LucasFilm, which posted a quick production video to mark the occasion.
The brief 34-second video, posted to the official Star Wars YouTube account, shows Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Daisy Ridley as Rey, as they were at the finale of The Force Awakens. Then we see a brief behind-the-scenes glimpse at new director, Rian Johnson, yelling “cut!”.
Alongside the video, Disney have released a press release, revealing key cast and crew. As expected, most of Episode VII’s key cast – Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis – will be back. (Boyega told reporters at the BAFTAs last night that his calltime was 6am the following morning.)
As previously rumoured, newcomers to the cast include Benicio Del Toro, who is thought to be playing a villain, and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran. Also joining the cast – and someone who had not been previously rumoured – is the great Laura Dern.
Filming is taking place at Pinewood Studios in London, with location shooting taking in Skellig Michael, off the coast of Ireland, and Dubrovnik, Croatia. Episode VIII (full title yet to be revealed) is due for worldwide release on December 15, 2017; until then, we have the spin-off movie Star Wars: Rogue One to look forward to, due out on December 16 this year.