Star Wars: Episode VIII was an inevitability, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting, especially now that it’s official, and the cameras are rolling. The production has decided to announce its start by showing us the first shot of the movie, which dovetails nicely with the last shot of The Force Awakens.
There’s also been a few announcements about who’s joining the cast. Entertainment Weekly has confirmed the cast is adding Benicio Del Toro, confirming months of rumors. What’s more, he’s being joined by Laura Dern, adding more Oscar-caliber talent to the mix. Kelly Marie Tran, a newcomer, is also joining the cast.
Dern is a particularly fascinating addition to the cast. Unlike Del Toro, who’s been more or less hinting about his casting for months, Dern’s casting was kept more under wraps. It raises the question of just what role she might play. One role in particular that’s open is Rey’s parents, but you don’t bring in an Oscar nominee just to play a nondescript mom role, so if she is related to Rey, there’s likely a lot more to her character than just child abandonment. We have a while to wait: Episode VIII, directed by Rian Johnson, arrives in theaters December 15, 2017.