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Star Wars 8 Has Officially Started Filming

With the new Star Wars trilogy off to a strong start and its Anthology spinoff series beginning this December, Disney and Lucasfilm had the benefit of going into these knowing from the get-go that they wanted to tell a much larger story than one that just spans three movies.

Television series, comics, novels, and spinoff movies going forward are all carefully worked into a new canon by the Lucasfilm Story Group to ensure a strict continuity, and the old stuff was partially tossed aside, re-branded as Star Wars Legends material. This allows Lucasfilm to build towards larger long-form stories and the develop them as such early on. That's why Rian Johnson was hired to write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII in June 2014, a year and a half before Episode VII - The Force Awakens even hit theaters.

Johnson was able to work with The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams to make sure he builds off of what Star Wars 7 sets up, and vice versa, that the first installment of the new trilogy delivers certain plot points and character arcs needed for the next two episode releases.

An example of how crucial this pre-planning process can be is in how Johnson was able to already shoot some scenes for his Star Wars 8, using the same Irish island of Skellig Michael where the final scenes and Luke Skywalker introduction take place at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He shot that in September, many months before today, the actual official start of principle photography on Star Wars 8.

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Star Wars 8 Has Officially Started Filming