Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran have officially joined the cast, and production has begun.
The as of yet untitled eighth Star Wars film with Brick/Looper’s Rian Johnson at the helm has started shooting. Along with the production teaser below, which features a familiar shot -from a new angle- of a certain self-exiled Jedi, came the casting announcement of three new players: Benicio Del Toro -long rumored to be cast as a villain in ep.VIII-, all-out cinematic treasure, Laura Dern, and lesser known television actress Kelly Marie Tran. Who they will play is anyone’s guess, and if Johnson is as adept at keeping secrets as Abrams, we won’t know for almost two years. The teaser, which shows Johnson and crew filming on Skellig Michael island where the final shot of Episode VII: The Force Awakens was shot, does confirm -at the very least- that there will be other scenes in that location and potentially, that Episode VIII will be a direct follow-up to the previous film, with no time passing between episodes.
All of the main cast members that made it through TFA will be returning for Ep VIII.
One may posit that it is a bit ridiculous to put out a teaser to signal the start of production when the film isn’t slated for release until December, 2017, and that is a valid opinion that I gleefully, outright reject.