There are still three months left until the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but Star Wars: Episode VIII writer and director Rian Johnson is hard at work getting ready to shoot the second chapter in the latest trilogy in Ireland.
Now it isn’t completely surprising to hear that a sequel is being prepped for shooting before its preceding film is even released. However, the news comes off a rumor that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was in Ireland for reshoots. More on this story below.
Anthony Breznican of EW had confirmed that J.J. Abrams was not in Ireland to reshoot parts of the film, and that it was Johnson who would begin principal photography for Episode VIII. That’s somewhat relieving news considering if it were true. Reshoots this close to the film’s release indicate major problems with said film, and leaves very little time for the editing process. Although it has worked for World War Z. But since that isn’t the case, there is no real need to worry.
However, sources tell EW that there have been small-scale reshoots during the summer, one just happening recently when a majority of the cast reassembled for the Disney fan expo D23. Not entirely surprising, there are plenty of studios in the Hollywood area where these reshoots could happen.
Here’s the official tweet from Brezenican confirming the news:
UPDATED: Lucasfilm says Episode VIII will shoot this month in Ireland — not reshoots for The Force Awakens: http://t.co/hDVlGzKZea@EW
As for the location itself, it appears that filming will happen on the island Skellig Michael off the southern coast of Ireland. Heather Humphries, Irelandâ€™s arts minister told Irish TV news outlet RTE that “an ecologist and observers from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the National Monuments Service will monitor filming to protect archaeological sites and wildlife habitats, and the Lucasfilm production has agreed to honor strict guidelines set in place to protect the site.”
The island is 715 feet above sea level, and ruins of a 12-century-old small monastery can be found. The remote location is an ideal place for a shoot of this size, though its purpose in the film itself is still very much unknown. It’s worth pointing out that if the location was a part of the reshoot, then it is in The Force Awakens, so if Johnson is shooting there, the setting will have some sort of significance in future Star Wars films.
Now this doesn’t exactly mean that the cast will be on set. Some suspect that Johnson is simply going to capture some scenery shots for the film. Again with so many campaigns like Force Friday, and a major press tour during the winter season, I find it hard to believe that they are shooting with the cast on location. Johnson also has yet to announce the new female lead, as John Boyega is reportedly in the middle of chemistry tests with the new female lead shortlist actresses for Episode VIII.
Star Wars: Episode VIII will hit theaters on May 26, 2017