Star Wars: Episode VIII is the upcoming second film of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. The sequel to the December 2015 film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, Episode VIII will be produced under the Disney-Lucasfilm brand. The film is scheduled to be released on December 15, 2017, and will be written and directed by Rian Johnson.
Unofficial reports claimed in November 2012 that Lawrence Kasdan—who originally wrote the screenplays for both Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi—and Simon Kinberg would divide writing responsibilities for Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX, and both would co-produce all three films of the upcoming sequel trilogy, alongside Kathleen Kennedy. However, in February 2013, Disney confirmed that Kasdan and Kinberg were working on standalone films, not main saga films. On June 20, 2014, a spokesperson for director Rian Johnson confirmed that he would write and direct Episode VIII, as well as pen a story treatment for Star Wars: Episode IX. Ram Bergman, Johnson's frequent collaborator, was also confirmed to be brought onto the project as a producer, working alongside Kathleen Kennedy. To prepare for Episode VIII, Johnson and crew screened select classic films such as Twelve O'Clock High and Letter Never Sent. While writing the script, Johnson had meetings with The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams, who showed him dailies as well as an edit of the unfinished film. Acording to Abrams' friend Greg Grunberg, Abrams was so impressed by the script that he regretted not directing it. John Boyega also claimed that the script was "darker" than the one for The Force Awakens.
On August 7, 2014, it was reported that actress Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in The Force Awakens, may reprise her role in both Episodes VIII and IX. On October 16, 2014, at the opening of the new Industrial Light & Magic facility in London, ILM President Lynwen Brennan confirmed that Star Wars: Episode VIII would be filmed in London. On March 12, 2015, Disney chairman Bob Iger originally announced the release date for Episode VIII of May 26, 2017, forty years and one day after the release of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, but the release date was later pushed back to December 15, 2017.
Filming began in September 2015 on Skellig Michael, an island off the coast of mainland Ireland that was first used for The Force Awakens in 2014. Before leaving, the crew donated €10,000 to the ferry service that had transported them to-and-from the island. Production will resume in England in February 2016.
During a concert with the Young Musician's Foundation Debut Orchestra on February 9, 2013 composer John Williams stated that he was hoping to get the chance to write the musical scores for the entire new trilogy. It was implied in Star Wars Insider 144 that he would score the entire "new Star Wars trilogy," but Lucasfilm clarified that he has only been confirmed for Episode VII.
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Organizations and titles
- "An Exclusive Interview with George Lucas"—Star Wars Insider 26
- "Launch Pad"—Star Wars Insider 151
- "The Saga Continues"—Star Wars Insider 157
- "Launch Pad"—Star Wars Insider 158
Notes and references
- DISNEY TO ACQUIRE LUCASFILM LTD. - The Walt Disney Company
- #500 Live: Rian Johnson / Top 5 Films of FS Era. filmspotting.net (August 1, 2014). Retrieved on September 26, 2014.
- Rian Johnson (Looper) Talks with Terry Gilliam (The Zero Theorem) for The Talkhouse Film Podcast (Part 1). thetalkhouse.com (September 18, 2014). Retrieved on September 26, 2014.