Accompanying the announcement that Star Wars Episode 8 has commenced filming is news of the principle cast, which promises a host of not only familiar faces, but also a bunch of new ones.
First up – and most unexpectedly of all – is Laura Dern. Probably best known among genre fans for playing Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park 3, she combines complete likeability with a willingness to take on challenging material, as evidenced by her having worked with David Lynch on Wild At Heart, Blue Velvet and Inland Empire. Our hunch is that she’s playing a good guy, but considering how willingly the likes of Domhnall Gleeson have gone against type in Star Wars, we wouldn’t be surprised if she went the other way.
Also confirmed is Benicio del Toro, having been heavily rumoured for a while now. All the rumours talk him up as a new antagonist, which would probably be about right. Still, it’ll be interesting to see what direction he takes: more grim and gritty in the 21 Grams or Traffic mould, or flamboyant space operatic like his Collector in Guardians Of The Galaxy.
Last but not least is newcomer Kelly Marie Tran. A bit more of an enigma than the other two, she has plenty of TV credits to her name (the most recognisable of which being two episodes of About A Boy), although otherwise she’s an unknown quantity. Then again, so was Daisy Ridley!
In addition, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Peter Mayhew, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Daniels and Andy Serkis have all been confirmed to reprise their roles from The Force Awakens.
Star Wars: Episode VIII will be released in cinemas on 15 December 2017. For more news about the biggest movies, pick up the latest issue of SciFiNow.