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Walt Disney announced today the start of production of Star Wars VIII with teaser video ‘Space Bear’ featuring Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in a scene from the end of Star Wars VII.

In that scene we also have Rey (Daisy Ridley) and see JJ Abrams’ replacement for this film, director Rian Johnson who is behind the camera with his voiceover announcing the start of filming.

In the written announcement we have confirmed for Star Wars VIII the return of 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. And we also have the manes of some new cast including Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern as well as newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.

Star Wars: Episode VIII is planned for release on December 15th 2017, start counting the days now! The full Official Announcement can be read in full below.

Star Wars VIII Gallery from announcement video

Star Wars VIII – Official Announcement of Production start

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, which began principal photography at Pinewood Studios in London on February 15, 2016.

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 produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman and executive produced by JJ Abrams, Jason McGatlin and Tom Karnowski. Joining the production crew will be some of the industry’s top talent, including Steve Yedlin (Director of Photography), Bob Ducsay (Editor), Rick Heinrichs (Production Designer), Peter Swords King (Hair and Make-Up Designer), and Mary Vernieu (US Casting Director). They will be joining returning crew members Pippa Anderson (Co-Producer, VP Post Production), Neal Scanlan (Creature & Droid FX Creative Supervisor), Michael Kaplan (Costume Designer), Jamie Wilkinson (Prop Master), Chris Corbould (SFX Supervisor), Rob Inch (Stunt Coordinator), Ben Morris (VFX Supervisor), and Nina Gold (UK Casting Director).