Episode VIII Begins Production, New Cast Announced

The Force Awakens hitting theater screens back in December is still a fresh memory, but Episode VIII has spared no time as it’s officially beginning production. Today the official site revealed the teaser you see above, as well as three new cast members: Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and Kelly Marie Tran. Below is more from the press release and details on the new cast. 

The press release also mentions who will be returning from TFA, and in case you haven’t seen it yet (I don’t know how, considering it’s made over $2 billion worldwide), one glaring omission might be a bit of a spoiler for you:

Star Wars: Episode VIII, which is written and directed by Rian Johnson and continues the storylines introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 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 talented newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.

Besides Del Toro, those new names come as quite the surprise. Benicio has been rumored for the film for awhile, including a tidbit that he’s supposed to be playing a villain, and seeing as he’s a pretty fantastic actor, I look forward to whatever role he’ll be playing (just as long as it’s a bigger role than his appearance as the Collector in the excellent Guardians of the Galaxy). Laura Dern should be quite recognizable to fans of Jurassic Park (and Jurassic Park III) and of course the easy guess for her character’s identity would be Rey’s mother, which I wouldn’t be disappointed about if true considering we don’t even know what character that would be, but only time will tell. As for Kelly Marie Tran, she’s got quite a big question mark over her right now, but EW.com has complied her online video work, where she shows she has quite the set of comedic chops. Assuming Ep. VIII would be darker, a la The Empire Strikes Back, might not be such a sure thing anymore with her around and if it matches TFA‘s humor. Another omission: Billy Dee Williams. Could he finally be making a surprise appearance as Lando and they’re keeping it under wraps or is he still being left out?

The cast and crew have already celebrated completion of the first day of filming on Ep. VIII (Hamill jokes he still doesn’t have a line of dialogue), not too many hours after we learned they even started.

Interestingly enough, this means we have more footage at the moment for Ep. VIII than we have of this year’s Rogue One (with the Celebration Anaheim footage technically not counting). I imagine that’ll be changing very soon.

Episode VIII is scheduled for theaters on December 15, 2017.

Ryan is Mynock Manor’s Head Butler. You can follow him on Twitter @BrushYourTeeth. You can follow the website @MynockManor.

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