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With Cast New and Old, Production for ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Is Well Underway

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has barely been out of theaters a month and already the gears are turning for production of the 8th Star Wars episode. While not much is known for certain about the upcoming film, cast and crew (new and old) have both been confirmed.

Included in the cast of Episode VIII are returning stars, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Anthony Daniels as well as Episode VII’s John Boyega, Oscar Issac, Domhnall Gleeson, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley with appearances from Gwendoline Christie and Maz Kanata. Reprising their roles will also be Andy Serkis and Lupita Nyong’o.

But joining the cast comes the long rumored Academy Award winning, Benicio Del Toro and light of my life, Laura Dern. Del Toro has hinted at a more villainous role for himself, while nothing has been said about Dern’s character at all. The two timeless stars are not the only newcomers to the cast as quietly rising star, Kelly Marie Tran, an LA-based improv comic, takes a huge step in her career with her currently nonspecific role in Episode VIII.

Written and directed by Looper‘s Rian Johnson with producing credits for Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, it looks as if George Lucas is sticking to his word in letting his child sore to different heights and independence.

As per EW

Episode VIII will be executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski, and the sequel will get some new crew as well. Among them, cinematographer Steve Yedlin (who worked with Johnson on Looper), editor Bob Ducsay (LooperSan Andreas), production designer Rick Heinrichs (FargoCaptain America), hair and make-up designer Peter Swords King (The Lord of the Rings saga), and U.S. casting director Mary Vernieu (Black SwanLooper – see a pattern here?)

As someone who did not grow up in a Star Wars household and has only recently been indoctrinated as a fan through years of film snobbery, this announcement is promising. Name drops galore have been even able to suck me in and keep me excited. If that wasn’t enough to maintain my somehow fickle interest, the Star Wars of the twenty-first century has done eons better at introducing a diverse intergalactic cast.

With the unleashing of a studio announcement, this is what else we know:

Rey took her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will continue her epic journey with Finn, Poe, and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the continuing Star Wars saga, Star Wars: Episode VIII, which began principal photography at Pinewood Studios in London on Feb. 15, 2016.

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