Rian Johnson Confirms Star Wars: Episode VIII Begins Right After The Force Awakens

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(Photo: Lucasfilm)

As many fans had speculated after seeing a Start of Production video months ago, Star Wars Episode VIII will pick up the story immediately following the events of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, forgoing the passage of time customary between Star Wars episodes.

"For the first time, we're breaking Star Wars tradition and starting our movie right where the last one left off," director Rian Johnson confirmed at Star Wars Celebration Europe today. "Skellig Michael is an incredibly mystical place. To be there and have that be the first thing we were shooting was an appropriately surreal way to start everything off."

Of course, when the previous film left off, Rey had just found Luke Skywalker, who had been in hiding for years since Kylo Ren murdered a number of new Jedi that Luke was training.

Principal photography on Star Wars Episode VIII just wrapped, and while the cast are at Star Wars Celebration Europe in London this weekend, none of them -- including Mark Hamill, who has the world premiere of Batman: The Killing Joke there -- is scheduled to attend Comic Con International: San Diego this week.

Rey took her first steps into a larger world in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will continue her epic journey with Finn, Poe, and Luke Skywalker in the next chapter of the continuing Star Wars saga, Star Wars: Episode VIII.

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Star Wars: Episode VIII, which is written and directed by Rian Johnson and continues the storylines introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, welcomes back cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis. New cast members will include Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro, Academy Award nominee Laura Dern, and talented newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.

Star Wars: Episode VIII is shooting now in England for a December 15, 2017 release.