The Force Awakens has shattered many box office records and went on to become the third highest grossing film of all time. Lucasfilm officially announced that Episode VIII has begin its principal photography by posting a video on their official YouTube channel. The video starts by picking up the last event in The Force Awakens when Rey meets Luke in his hideout and handing over the lightsaber to him, as they stare at each other. There is a glimpse of director Rian Johnson in the video, as he takes on the directing duty for Episode VIII.
Lucasfilm has released an official press statement, revealing the cast and crew for Episode VIII. As stated by Kathleen Kennedy in December, all of the main cast from The Force Awakens will reprise their roles in Episode VIII. They will be joined by Benicio del Toro (who is rumoured to play a villain), newcomer Kelly Marie Tran, and Laura Dern.
Filming has began in London's Pinewood Studios and will also take place at Skellig Michael, off the coast of Ireland. The island serves as Luke Skywalker's hideout in The Force Awakens. Episode VIII will be released on December 15, 2017. Star Wars: Rogue One, the first live action spin-off movie from the Star Wars franchise will be released December 2016.