‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ Announces New Cast Members, Plus A Video Teaser

Now that the hype surrounding Star Wars: The Force Awakens is dying down, fans are eagerly awaiting news on the second installment in the sci-fi reboot. Lucky for them, this week has brought a small batch of information about Star Wars: Episode VIII, including some brand new cast members who will be joining the franchise.

According to CNN, there will be two well-known Hollywood actors appearing in the sequel, Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern. There will also be one fresh face by the name of Kelly Marie Tran, who will be playing a new part. At this time, the Star Wars: Episode VIII crew has not announced what roles the actors will be filling in the new film, but Benicio Del Toro recently predicted that he will be cast as the new major Star Wars villain, so it’s very possible he was correct.

Del Toro is an Academy Award winner and Laura Dern is an academy award nominee, so expect another helping of major talent in Star Wars: Episode VIII.

These new cast members will be joined by most of the original characters from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, including Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, and Gwendoline Christie. But some Star Wars veterans will also be returning, including Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Anthony Daniels.

Ridley, Boyega, Kennedy, Abrams
According to StarWars.com, Star Wars: Episode VIII has begun the starting phases of shooting, kicking off principal photography this morning, February 15, 2016. The initial crew gathered at Pinewood Studios in London to get early production underway.

These announcements were made via a post on the official Star Wars Facebook page.

“We are thrilled to announce Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran will join Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill and director Rian Johnson for Star Wars: Episode VIII, which begins shooting at London’s Pinewood Studio today. May the Force be with you, always.”

While Kelly Marie Tran doesn’t have many credits yet, she’s best known for The Rising Cost of Cosmetics (2011), Untouchable (2011) and Andy’s CDs, according to the Internet Movie Database.

Star Wars: Episode VIII will also be adding a lot of behind-the-scenes skill, including some of “the industry’s top talent,” like editor Bob Ducsay, Director of Photography Steve Yedlin, production designer Rick Heinrichs, and producers Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman.

A video accompanied the announcement, which you can watch below. If you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the video does contain a very mild spoiler for the final scene of the film.

The video suggests that Star Wars: Episode VIII will pick up right where the previous film left off, with Daisy Ridley’s character Rey meeting Luke Skywalker on an isolated island. She offers him his own lightsaber, then the shot is cut by director Rian Johnson, who then announces, “Ladies and gentlemen welcome to episode VIII.”

While it might be quite a long time to wait, the release date for Star Wars: Episode VIII has already been announced, with the team shooting for a release on December 15, 2017.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the script for Episode VIII is apparently “amazing.”

What do you think about the new additions to Star Wars: Episode VIII? Do you think Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern will fit in with the current cast? And what do you think about newcomer Kelly Marie Tran? Will she become another breakout star like Daisy Ridley and John Boyega?

[Photos by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for The Weinstein Co, Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images, Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney]