“Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens” hits cinemas in December but Nerd Reactor reports that “Episode VIII” director Rian Johnson (“Looper”, “The Brothers Bloom”, Brick”) has decided to start shooting the next installment later this September.
There were initial rumors that Lucasfilm was supposed to return to Skellig Michael (an island off the Southern coast of Ireland) for some reshoots but the studio clarified that they were trying to “lie low” and used the title “Star Wars”, without distinguishing which specific episode they were referring to. It was reported that production was able to quietly do some re-shoots over the summer, counting last month when the cast was in California for the D23 Expo. (via Collider)
According to The Mirror, Ireland’s arts minister Heather Humphries, has already given permission for production to shoot but insisted that strict environmental and ecological conditions are to be followed to protect the site and its wildlife. The agreement includes 16 measures and specifies that filming will be limited to certain areas.
“I want to be very clear that my priority is to protect Skellig Michael and the UNESCO world heritage site and strict conditions are being imposed to ensure the environment is fully protected.” Humphries said.
Skellig Michael consists of sharp clusters of rocks, 715 feet above sea level. A portion of the rocks contain some lush vegetation. It is also home to the ruins of a small monastery, that was occupied in the 12th century.
IGN reports that there are still stubborn rumors claiming that the Skellig Michael ruins double as “Luke Skywalker’s hideaway”.
Wondering how the location plays a part in “Episode VIII”? We can only wait. May the force be with you. Star Wars: Episode VIII will be released in 2017.
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