Star Wars: Episode VIII

Star Wars: Episode VIII

Official teaser logo
Directed by Rian Johnson
Produced by
Written by Rian Johnson
Based on Characters
by George Lucas
Music by John Williams[1]
Cinematography Steve Yedlin[2]
Edited by Bob Ducsay[2]
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • December 15, 2017 (2017-12-15) (United States)
Country United States
Language English

Star Wars: Episode VIII is an upcoming American epic space opera film written and directed by Rian Johnson. It will be the second installment in the Star Wars sequel trilogy following Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). The film, produced by Lucasfilm and distributed worldwide by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern, and Kelly Marie Tran.

Scenes that required shooting at Skellig Michael in Ireland took place during pre-production in September 2015, with principal photography beginning at Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom in February 2016, and ending in July 2016.[3] Episode VIII is scheduled for release on December 15, 2017.


Other cast members include Peter Mayhew and Joonas Suotamo, both returning to portray Chewbacca,[10][5][11] Mike Quinn as Nien Nunb,[12] Timothy M. Rose as Admiral Ackbar,[11] Billie Lourd as Lieutenant Connix,[13] and Simon Pegg as Unkar Plutt, all of whom are reprising their roles.[14] Jimmy Vee will play R2-D2.[15] Tom Hardy will make a cameo appearance as a stormtrooper.[16] Gareth Edwards, director of the Star Wars Anthology film Rogue One, has a cameo in the film.[17] Warwick Davis has been cast in an unspecified role.[18]


In June 2014, director Rian Johnson was reported to be in talks to write and direct Episode VIII and to write a treatment for Episode IX, with Ram Bergman producing both films.[19][20] Johnson confirmed in August 2014 that he would direct Episode VIII.[21] In September, filmmaker Terry Gilliam asked Johnson about what it felt like to take over something that was made famous by another filmmaker, to which Johnson responded:

I'm just starting into it, but so far, honestly, it's the most fun I've ever had writing. It's just joyous. But also for me personally, I grew up not just watching those movies but playing with those toys, so as a little kid, the first movies I was making in my head were set in this world. A big part of it is that direct connection, almost like an automatic jacking back into childhood in a weird way. But I don't know, ask me again in a few years and we'll be able to talk about that.[22]

Johnson had the story group working on the film watch films such as Twelve O'Clock High, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Gunga Din, Three Outlaw Samurai, Sahara and Letter Never Sent for inspiration while developing ideas for the film.[17][23] Additionally, he felt it was difficult to work on the film while The Force Awakens was being finished. Johnson also noted how the film would pick up immediately after the last scene of The Force Awakens.[17] J. J. Abrams, who directed The Force Awakens, is an executive producer along with Jason McGatlin and Tom Karnowski.[24]


In September 2015, Disney shortlisted the female cast members to Gina Rodriguez, Tatiana Maslany, and Olivia Cooke.[25] Later that month, Benicio del Toro confirmed that he will play the villain in the film,[9] and Mark Hamill was also confirmed.[4] In October 2015, Gugu Mbatha-Raw was rumored to have been cast in the film.[26] In November, Jimmy Vee was cast as R2-D2, replacing Kenny Baker, who portrayed the character in Star Wars through Revenge of the Sith, and served as a consultant in The Force Awakens.[15] In November, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced at the London premiere for Star Wars: The Force Awakens that the entire cast would return for Episode VIII, along with "a handful of new cast members".[5] In February 2016, at the start of filming, it was confirmed that Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran had been cast in unspecified roles.[2]


Second unit photography began during pre-production at Skellig Michael in Ireland on September 14, 2015, due to the difficulties of filming at that location during other seasons. It would have lasted four days,[27][28][29] but filming was canceled for the first day due to poor weather and rough conditions.[30] In November 2014, Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive of Pinewood Studios, confirmed that the film would be shot at Pinewood,[31] with filming also occurring in Mexico.[6] In September 2015, del Toro revealed that principal photography would begin in March 2016;[9] however, Kennedy later stated that filming would begin in January 2016.[5] The production began work on the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios on November 15, 2015.[32] Rick Heinrichs served as production designer.[33]

In January 2016, production of Episode VIII was delayed until February 2016, due to script rewrites.[34] Additionally, filming was potentially in danger of being delayed further due to an upcoming strike between the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television and the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union.[35] On February 10, 2016, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that principal photography had begun,[36] under the working title Space Bear.[17] Additional filming took place in Dubrovnik from March 9 to March 16, 2016,[37][38] as well as in Ireland in May.[39] Principal photography wrapped on July 22, 2016,[3] though as of early September 2016, Nyong'o had not filmed her scenes.[40] Lupita Nyong'o has confirmed that her character, Maz Kanata, will be in Star Wars: Episode VIII.[41]


In July 2013, Kennedy announced at Star Wars Celebration Europe that John Williams would return to score the Star Wars sequel trilogy.[1][42] At a Tanglewood concert in August 2016, Williams confirmed he is scheduled to start scoring Episode VIII.[43] Williams will start recording the score "off and on" in December 2016, until March or April 2017.[44]


In January 2015, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that Episode VIII would be released in 2017.[45] In March, Disney announced a release date of May 26, 2017.[46][47] In January 2016 it was delayed to December 15, 2017.[48]


Episode IX, the final installment of the sequel trilogy, is scheduled for release on May 24, 2019.[49] It will be directed by Colin Trevorrow, with a story treatment by Johnson.[50]


  1. 1 2 Hewitt, Chris (July 27, 2013). "John Williams To Score Star Wars Episodes VII-IX". Empire Online. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII NOW FILMING". February 15, 2016. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  3. 1 2 Romano, Nick (July 22, 2016). "Star Wars: Episode VIII director Rian Johnson announces end of production". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  4. 1 2 O'Sullivan, Majella (September 15, 2015). "Bad weather halts Star Wars filming on Skellig Michael". The Irish Examiner. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
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  7. "Oscar Isaac Talks 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' and Going After X-Men's Apocalypse (EXCLUSIVE)". Moviefone. March 19, 2015. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  8. Chitwood, Adam; Cabin, Chris (December 4, 2015). "This 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Character Will Be Back For 'Episode VIII'". Retrieved December 5, 2015.
  9. 1 2 3 White, James (September 7, 2015). "Benicio Del Toro Confirms Casting In Star Wars: Episode VIII". Empire. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  10. English, Rebecca (April 19, 2016). "It's Duke Skywalker! William and Harry duel with light sabers as they meet the Star Wars cast and crew on set at Pinewood - before getting a VERY hairy hug from Chewbacca". Daily Mail. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  11. 1 2 Valverde, Michael (February 6, 2016). "Nien Nunb Will Return For Star Wars: Episode VIII". Dork Side of the Force. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  12. Libbey, Dirk (February 5, 2016). "This Classic Star Wars Character Will Be Returning For Episode VIII". Cinema Blend. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  13. Topel, Fred (March 13, 2016). "Billie Lourd Will Return With A Larger Role In 'Star Wars Episode 8'". Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  14. Sokol, Tony (March 17, 2016). "Simon Pegg Negotiating to Join Ready Player One Adaptation by Steven Spielberg". Den of Geek. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  15. 1 2 McEwan, Cameron (November 16, 2015). "Doctor Who actor Jimmy Vee is the new R2-D2 in Star Wars Episode 8". Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  16. Simpson, George (May 16, 2016). "Tom Hardy confirmed for Star Wars: Episode VIII". Daily Express. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  17. 1 2 3 4 Breznican, Anthony (July 17, 2016). "Star Wars Celebration: Updates on Episode VIII and young Han Solo movie". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  18. Chung, Frank (September 30, 2016). "Warwick Davis on Star Wars: Episode VIII 'cliffhanger', possible Willow sequel". Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  19. Fleming, Jr., Mike (June 20, 2014). "'Star Wars' Bombshell! Rian Johnson To Write, Direct Next Two Films". Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  20. Shaw, Lucas (June 20, 2014). "Rian Johnson to Write and Direct 'Star Wars' 8 — But Not 9". The Wrap. The Wrap. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  21. McMillan, Graeme (August 18, 2014). "Rian Johnson Says Next 'Star Wars' Will Have Less CGI, More Practical Effects". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  22. "Rian Johnson Talks about Taking on Star Wars Episode VIII". Coming Soon. September 19, 2014. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  23. Collin, Robbie (July 17, 2016). "Star Wars: Episode VIII will be classic war film like The Bridge on the River Kwai, director reveals". The Telegraph. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  24. "STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII TO OPEN DECEMBER 15, 2017". February 11, 2016. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  25. Sneider, Jeff (September 1, 2015). "'Star Wars: Episode VIII' Shortlist Includes Gina Rodriguez, Tatiana Maslany, Olivia Cooke (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  26. Goldberg, Matt (October 7, 2015). "Exclusive: 'Star Wars: Episode VIII' Casts Gugu Mbatha-Raw". Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  27. Breznican, Anthony (September 9, 2015). "Updated: Star Wars: Episode VIII will shoot in Ireland this month". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  28. Clifford, Graham (September 6, 2015). "Skellig Michael: Is 6th-century rock star selling out to a galaxy far, far away?". Irish Independent. Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  29. "Marine Notice No. 44 of 2015 – Filming Activity at Sceilig Mhichíl, Co. Kerry" (PDF). Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. September 11, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  30. Lucey, Anne; Pollak, Sorcha; Ruxton, Dean (September 14, 2015). "Skellig Michael 'Star Wars' filming cancelled amid high winds". Irish Times. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  31. Alirjaafar (November 10, 2014). "'Star Wars' Returning To Pinewood For 'Episode VIII'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  32. Chitwood, Adam (May 11, 2016). "'Assassin's Creed': 35 Things to Know about the Ambitious Video Game Adaptation". Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  33. Caranicas, Peter (November 25, 2014). "Below the Line Bookings". Variety. Retrieved November 26, 2014.
  34. Gallagher, Brian (January 18, 2016). "'Star Wars 8' Rewrites to Include More 'Force Awakens' Characters?". MovieWeb. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  35. Clark, Nick (January 28, 2016). "Star Wars: Episode VIII among films facing delays as lighting technicians threaten revolt". The Independent. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  36. Breznican, Anthony (February 10, 2016). "Star Wars: Episode VIII has started filming". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  37. "Star Wars Episode VIII Starts Shooting in Dubrovnik This Week". Croatia Week. March 8, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  38. Harris, David (March 26, 2016). "Star Wars: Episode VIII Filming Update: Luke in a Casino, Poe takes Charge". Dork Side of the Force. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
  39. Barrett, David (March 20, 2016). "Star Wars Episode VIII returns to new locations in Ireland". The Telegraph. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  40. Trumbore, Dave (September 11, 2016). "Lupita Nyong'o Hasn't Shot Her 'Star Wars: Episode 8' Role Despite Rian Johnson Wrapping Production". Collider. Archived from the original on September 12, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  41. McCluskey, Megan (September 21, 2016). "Lupita Nyong'o Confirms Maz Kanata Will Be in Star Wars: Episode VIII". Time. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  42. Dumaraog, Karissa (June 13, 2016). "'Star Wars: Episode 8' news: John Williams to score upcoming installment". Vine Report. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  43. McCormick, Rich (August 16, 2016). "John Williams confirms he's working on the score for Star Wars: Episode VIII". The Verge. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  44. Burlingame, Jon (December 1, 2016). "'Fantastic Beasts' and 'The BFG' Tap Into Magical Musical Worlds". Variety. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  45. Lussier, Germain (January 29, 2015). "Disney CEO Confirms Release Years for 'Star Wars Episode VIII' and 'IX', Teases More Trilogies". /Film. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  46. Truitt, Brian (March 12, 2015). "'Star Wars: Episode VIII' coming in May 2017". USA Today. Retrieved March 14, 2015. Also, writer/director Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII — to follow J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, out December 18 — is now scheduled to arrive on the big screen May 26, 2017.
  47. Mendelson, Scott (March 12, 2015). "First 'Star Wars' Stand-Alone, 'Rogue One,' Will Have Female Lead In Felicity Jones". Forbes. Retrieved March 14, 2015. Star Wars: Episode VIII will indeed be directed by Rian Johnson (Looper) and will be released on May 26, 2017, or around the 40th anniversary of the original Star Wars.
  48. McClintock, Pamela (January 20, 2016). "'Star Wars: Episode VIII' Gets New Release Date". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  49. Hooton, Christopher (December 24, 2015). "Star Wars 8, 9 and Rogue One: Release dates, plots, casts and directors". The Independent. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  50. Ford, Rebecca (August 15, 2015). "'Star Wars: Episode IX' Sets 'Jurassic World' Director Colin Trevorrow to Helm". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 5, 2016.

External links

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