Next Star Wars Starts Filming, Adds 2 Big Names

Benicio del Toro and Laura Dern added to cast
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 15, 2016 9:38 AM CST

Star Wars: Episode VIII has begun filming and has added Benicio del Toro and Laura Dern to its cast. The Walt Disney Co. announced that Episode VIII started principal photography on Monday. The third name to join returning cast members is newcomer Kelly Marie Tran, who EW notes has some CollegeHumor shorts and small roles on shows like About a Boy on her resume. iO9 reports it has "no idea" who Dern and Tran could be playing, but points out that del Toro's name has been bandied about for a while; he's expected to slip into a bad-guy role, though no word on whether that means he's a First-Order villain or one of some other stripe.

The production start announcement was accompanied by a brief video that showed shooting picking up right where The Force Awakens left off, with Rian Johnson directing Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. This film is set for release in December 2017, reports the AP. (More Star Wars stories.)

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