Star Wars Episode VIII: Production & New Cast Member Announcements!

Star Wars Episode VIII

Have you felt it? Today brought yet another great awakening in the Force – the official announcement was made that they’ve begun production on Star Wars Episode VIII!

The short video announcement released by LucasFilms includes clips from the end of The Force Awakens followed by the next director, Rian Johnson, yelling “Cut!” and welcoming some cast and crew to Episode VIII.

Of course this announcement is exciting in its own right, but I have to admit that I’m much more interested in the recent casting announcements. Benecio Del Toro is joining the Star Wars crew, with rumors flying that he’ll be playing a villain…though to be honest I would also love to see him in flashbacks as Poe Dameron’s father, even if there’s little chance of such a thing happening.

Star Wars Episode VIII Laura Dern Jurassic ParkEven more awesome (at least in this fangirl’s opinion) is the fact that Laura Dern is on board as well! I’ve long loved her as an actress (and not just in Jurassic Park), but the fact that she will now be part of not just one but two of my favorite fandoms is like a little dream come true for me. I can’t wait to hear more about her Star Wars character!

Kelly Marie Tran, whose previous credits include more than half a dozen CollegeHumor videos as well as a web series, is also attached to Episode VIII, though at this point her role remains as much a mystery as Laura Dern’s.

Episode VIII is being filmed at Pinewood Studios in London, with on-location shoots in Skellig Michael (an island off the coast of County Kerry, Ireland) and Dubrovnik, Croatia (a city that any Game of Thrones fan knows well). I’m more than a little curious as to what Dubrovnik is going to represent in Star Wars, again because this brings two fandoms together.

But the real question is…how are we going to wait nearly two years for the next Star Wars movie? (Though thankfully we do have Rogue One coming out next December to tide us over just a little bit…)

Author: Tara Lynne

Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.

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