Tuesday, February 16, 2016

'Star Wars: Episode VIII' adds Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro and Kelly Marie Tran as filming begins

Star Wars: Episode VIII isn't even the next Star Wars film that will hit theaters. Let that sink in for a second. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first spin-off film under the supervision of Disney, will debut in December 2016 and beyond a cast photo and a bootleg teaser from Star Wars Celebration, we haven't seen much at all. So does it feel like Disney is getting a bit ahead of themselves by kicking off the marketing campaign for Episode VIII already? Yes. But do I care? Not at all. Filming commenced on Rian Johnson's Episode VIII yesterday morning (there's some debate over whether or not some filming was done on the film at Skellig Michael back in October, but that's beside the point), and to reveal the start of filming, Disney and Lucasfilm released a brief video to get fans excited. There isn't much in the way of new footage, but we get to see more of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) and a brief look at Johnson's first day of filming. Check out the video below:

Not much to see, but it still got me unreasonably pumped for a movie that is nearly two years away. In addition to that, Disney and Lucasfilm wrote up a press release announcing the start of production and the cast of the film. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Domnhall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis and Anthony Daniels will reprise their role in the eighth installment of the franchise, with Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran joining the series for the first time. We knew that Del Toro would be joining the cast in a possibly villainous role, but the additions of Dern and Tran were quite surprising. I'm not overly familiar with Kelly Marie Tran, but I must say, if Laura Dern doesn't play Rey's long-lost mother, I'll be sorely disappointed. Gugu Mbatha-Raw was also rumored to join the cast, and yet, there was no mention of the Concussion star in the press release. We could possibly hear a few more casting announcements on the film as production continues, but I wouldn't expect to see much more footage. After all, this movie is still quite far off. Rogue One is coming more immediately down the pipeline, so that's where much of Disney's marketing will focus. Nonetheless, it was tremendously exciting to see a brief look at Episode VIII, which will be unleashed upon the world on December 15, 2017.

Image Credit: Screen Rant

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