Star Wars fans have so far been able to glean only the barest information regarding the next film in the core trilogy, Episode VIII, but now new on-set photos have emerged, revealing the beloved Millennium Falcon in all of its spacefaring glory.
The images were posted online by TMZ, and appear to have been taken using a drone. According to them, the images were captured on a set in London, just one of several locations where Episode VIII is currently filming. They depict the Falcon from multiple angles, nestled amid a background in the midst of construction.
— Daily Mail Femail (@Femail) April 30, 2016
Although it is unclear what exactly the scene in question will entail, the Millennium Falcon is positioned in front of a set that features green, rocky pastures and a gnarled tree. The general layout of the set recalls the scenery of Skellig Michael, the Irish island that doubled as Luke Skywalker’s hiding place in The Force Awakens. The set even features a series of stone steps leading away from the Falcon, which correspond with the stairways that are a prominent feature on the actual island. While it cannot yet be confirmed as such, the photos seem to suggest that the scene for which the Millennium Falcon is being readied is indeed set to take place on the island.
The Millennium Falcon on set for Star Wars: Episode VIII pic.twitter.com/UlZRjd3rVL
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Recently, a plot synopsis for Episode VIII was released on Reddit, as BGR noted at the time. While the authenticity of the outline remains an open question, it suggested that the movie would unfold over the course of several disparate storylines, which eventually dovetail by the third act. One of those storylines focuses closely on Rey, as she begins her Jedi training with Luke.
Taking place on the same island which featured in the final scenes of The Force Awakens, this early section of the film eventually gives way to a second act that sees the duo leaving the island. If the synopsis indeed turns out to be authentic, and the sets that feature in TMZ‘s photos are being constructed to mimic Skellig Michael, it seems likely that the scenes being filmed will feature in Episode VIII‘s first act.
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The gnarled remains of a tree which are positioned slightly above the Millennium Falcon evoke another moment in the Star Wars trilogy, when Luke endured his training at the hands of Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. Taken by the diminutive Jedi master to enter a cave strong with the Dark Side, Luke faces one of his greatest tests, squaring off against a vision of Darth Vader. As the set’s stairs appear to lead only to the tree (and not beyond), which itself appears to have an entrance along its right side, it is easy to speculate that a similar test may wait in store for Rey during the course of Episode VIII.
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The drone photos also reveal a second set under construction near the Falcon, which appears to be the entryway for a large building. The ground in front of this set is decorated with a distinctive blue and gold pattern, which suggests that whatever scenes are filmed there will take place on an entirely different world. The Millennium Falcon itself, meanwhile, was in the final stages of construction itself when the photos were obtained, being readied for its next appearance in the Star Wars saga.
[Photo by Disney Parks Via Getty Images]