Disney has now moved on from the fanfare of Star Wars Episode VII. This was made evident from this teaser video released through the official YouTube channel of the galaxy far, far away. It was posted just yesterday as it depicts the ending scene from Episode VI that depicts the fateful meeting between would be Jedi apprentice Rey (Daisy Ridley) and the seemingly desolate Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil), as she hands him over his old lightsaber. Right after a few seconds of what seems to be an emotional meeting, director Rian Johnson says ‘Cut!’, faces the crowd and with a dramatic flair, announces to everyone, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Episode VIII!’, while the Star Wars theme plays in the background. Watch the teaser video below. The scene was said to be filmed in Skellig Michael in Ireland during fall of last year, even months before ‘Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ hit the cinemas.
Early preparations were also hinted by the cast themselves, particularly John Boyega tweeting away some bits and pieces of info. Though it can be said that we’re relatively far from Episode VIII’s opening which is slated on December 17, 2017, Disney CEO Bob Iger is a little jittery about the tight schedule that the next instalment is going through, with his official announcement last week confirming that filming had begun.
The Star Wars website also confirmed its line up of cast for Episode VIII. We’ll see the likes of Hamill, Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Carrie Fisher, and Anthony Daniels returning on screen from the previous Episode. Obviously, we’ll not be seeing any of Harrison Ford’s Han Solo since the emotional death scene that his character suffered from Episode VII marks the end of his involvement in the franchise. Unless Disney and Lucasfilms plan to have a series of flashbacks, or they did a clever Jedi mind trick to all of us, then we will not be seeing Hans Solo back from the dead. Wait… unless he’s actually a Jedi in disguise and can come back as a ghost perhaps we will… Oh, never mind.
Anyways, we’ll be seeing a couple of new faces as well. Jimmy Vee has been rumored to be the next in line to take over the character of the astromech droid R2-D2 and the wooly and feisty Chewbacca. Other cast members expected to be on board are Oscar winner Benicio del Toro, Academy Award nominee Laura Dern and relatively unknown Kelly Marie Tran with more additions to be announced later on.
Admittedly, this is an exciting year for any Star Wars fan. With the advent of Star Wars: Rogue One’ this December, and a plush and fancy ‘Force Friday’ on its way starting September, everyday is a lovely day indeed.
Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens is now in theaters, and will be followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode 8 on December 15th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode 9 is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020