Two weeks ago, principal photography began at Pinewood Studios in London on the hotly-anticipated Star Wars: Episode VIII, as trumpeted by Lucasfilm’s epic announcement video. Some were a little confused by the video’s footage of the “Excalibur” scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens of Rey returning Luke and Anakin’s lightsaber, wondering whether they were looking at outtakes from Episode VII or new footage being shot specifically for Episode VIII. Now, actress Daisy Ridley has seemingly confirmed to MTV that she and Mark Hamill were indeed re-enacting the now-iconic end scene for the new film.
“Me and Mark have been rehearsing a lot, and it’s really amazing,” Ridley said “When we went back to Skellig to do the opening of [Episode] VIII, it was so crazy doing the same scene with a different crew of people. He’s amazing to rehearse with, and I’m very excited to be doing the rest of the stuff. It’s such a good story. Seriously. Luke is so cool in this one. Really.”
The September pre-shoot footage from Ireland’s Skellig Michael Island (aka “Ahch-To” in the Force Awakens shooting script) seems to be setting a new precedent for a Star Wars movie, as all of the previous entries picked up a fair amount of time after the previous installment, ranging from a few months between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi to 10 years between Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, not to mention the decades-long gaps between trilogies. Episode VIII will apparently start right at the moment Rey meets Luke, and then hopefully continue on to her training as the legendary Skywalker’s new Padawan.
In other news, Making Star Wars has posted a new Instagram photo (via Jedi Real Estate) of Ahch-To island being recreated at Pinewood, which has been rumored for a while due to environmental and safety issues keeping the filmmakers from doing the extensive shooting the script calls for on-location at Skellig Michael.
Continuing the epic journey of Rey, Finn, Poe, and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the continuing Star Wars saga, Star Wars: Episode VIII is written and directed by Rian Johnson. It 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 newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.
The sequel is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski.
Star Wars: Episode VIII is scheduled for release on December 15, 2017.