Everybody brace yourselves. Hold on. Are you ready? Director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII has commenced production. Cameras are rolling; it’s all happening. Did you get that? A new Star Wars movie is currently being made, and it isn’t the new Star Wars movie we all saw in theaters in December. Nope, that one was called The Force Awakens and was technically Episode VII. This one, is the next episode in the new Star Wars saga.
But, in all seriousness, this is great news for Star Wars fans. Rumors swirled that the movie would start filming sometime in January, but a release date shift that pushed the movie back from its original slot in May 2017 to December of that year might have offered Johnson some more time to get things ready.
Johnson actually shot bits of the movie last year for pre-shoots at the Irish location of Skellig Michael, which was seen at the end of The Force Awakens. They obviously wanted to grab footage to pick up after J.J. Abrams’ previous installment before the weather took a nasty turn for the winter. The news, now, is that primary production is under way.
Per Entertainment Weekly, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed the start during a company earnings call, which, obviously, was all about the enormous success of The Force Awakens. “There is no better way to propel this franchise into the future than producing quality products,” Iger said. “Filming of Star Wars: Episode VIII, the next chapter of the legendary saga, has just commenced and it will be in theaters December 2017. And production of Episode IX, a 2019 release, has also begun.”
That last bit about director Colin Trevorrow’s final installment of the newest trilogy is a bit of a surprise, as well. Despite its 2019 release date, Episode IX is probably in pre-production as a way to keep the plot of Trevorrow’s series cap in step with Johnson’s movie.
And to reassure fans about the rest of the Star Wars saga, Iger added that “Filming of Rogue One is virtually completed and we absolutely love what we’ve seen so far.” So, yep, Rogue One is basically going to be the best movie ever made.
Star Wars is definitely here to stay.