Star Wars: Episode VIII Begins Filming in Ireland This Month

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image by Vanity Fair

Yesterday, EW wrote an article about how J.J. Abrams and the Star Wars: The Force Awakens team will head back to Skellig Michael, Ireland for "further filming to take place this month," but it turned out that it was factually inaccurate: It's actually Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII that's filming in the island right now, not The Force Awakens. This is pretty interesting since we still don't know who made it alive in the first of the new trilogy. Finn and Rey will probably make it. Benicio Del Toro, who's most likely going to play a villain in the sequel, previously said that the film will start shooting next March, so this is much earlier.

We know that the location in Skellig is a "sharp cluster of rocks rising 715 feet out of the sea" near the ruins of an old monastery, which is rumored to be the new home of Luke Skywalker.

Skellig Island is a sensitive location to film, with ecologists worried about the filming affecting local wildlife populations, including various birds, so there are 16 limitation measures, including specific places and only September available to Lucasfilm for filming.

Meanwhile, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is is currently shooting in London's Pinewood Studios, one of the primary shooting locations for The Force Awakens as well. J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released in U.S. theaters on December 18; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released on December 16, 2016; and Rian Johnson's Star Wars: Episode VIII will be released on May 26, 2017.