Watch: Episode VIII Officially Shooting, New Cast Members Announced


An official announcement confirmed Star Wars: Episode VIII has begun shooting, with three new cast members. dropped the announcement this morning, in a precious 35-second video showing what looks like the first day of shooting. On their website, they confirmed the return of Hamill, Fisher, and the new cast from The Force Awakens, as well as additions Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern, and “talented newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.”

Based on the video, it looks like we’ll be seeing that scene where Rey hands the lightsaber to Luke Skywalker once again, this time from different camera angles (also, can I comment on how lovely Mark Hamill’s locks look ruffling in the wind?).

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Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, said last week Episode VIII had begun filming. Today’s announcement is just icing on the cake, a confirmation we didn’t need but desperately wanted. It just wouldn’t have felt right to know production o Episode VIII had begun without some kind of footage or imagery to mark the occasion; rather, it would have felt like Lucasfilm and Disney were trying to keep the news from us, like it wasn’t as important as, say, The Force Awakens cast read photo taken oh so many months ago.

Benicio del Toro being cast is no surprise, as we’ve been hearing lots of rumors about his involvement for the past few months. Laura Dern, however, comes completely out of the blue. She’s an incredible actress, and she can only bring good things to Star Wars. As to who she’s playing, her character could be an officer in the First Order or the Resistance, a politician, a pirate (tell that to Kanjiklub), or perhaps someone even more significant. Luke’s wife, perhaps, or Rey’s mother (or both). Kelly Marie Tran is, of course, a new name to us, but it won’t be unknown to the world at large for long (she appears to be the Asian actress who was rumored to have been cast in the new film).

Next: John Boyega Wins Rising Star Award At BAFTAs

Here’s to a new year full of announcements, speculation, and Star Wars: Episode VIII fun.