Star Wars filmmakers are not stopping. On top of the preparations for the release of The Force Awakens and recent start of production for Rogue One, it seems like Disney is gearing up for Episode VIII, which is due for a traditional “Star Wars” May date, namely 26th May 2017. It will be directed by Rian Johnson.
So what is there about Episode VIII? First, Benicio Del Toro, who has before been rumoured as a possible star, has recently confirmed his role as a villain. He did not disclose any further details, but at least we know what we can expect.
The other news has been officially confirmed thanks to the Irish minister for arts and heritage, Heather Humphreys. She stated that Skellig Michael, the island location used previously for filming Episode VII, is going to be used as a filming location by Lucasfilm again later this month. The return to a previous location suggests some continuity with The Force Awakens, and Lucasfilm has confirmed that this is not mere reshooting for this year’s film, but the start of the new one.
There is a reason for the Irish ministry being involved, Skellig Michael is a UNESCO heritage site and the previous filming already raised some concerns from local ecologists. Thankfully, it seems like no problems arose and the island can be used by both wildlife and the filmmakers to the benefit of both.