No Episode VIII title* out of the Future Filmmakers panel at Celebration Europe, but they did confirm Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han Solo and bring him out on stage. He was the first person to audition (out of 3000 people!) and won the role over 6 months. Directs Christopher Miller and Phil Lord have only just moved to London for pre-production, and they expect to start shooting in early 2017.
Earlier, Kathleen Kennedy said Episode VIII director Rian Johnson “moves the camera as well as Steven Spielberg.” We learned that Johnson spent about six weeks with Lucasfilm before even starting in on the script.
The panel winded down with surprise appearances from John Boyega, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher. (Plus Gary and Millie.) It looked fun, but there was nothing really earth-shattering revealed. Check out the StarWars.com liveblog for details.
Below the cut, videos from the panel, and the interviews afterward!
Mark Hamill was his usual self at his Celebration Europe panel today, and while he can’t talk much (at all, really) about Episode VIII, he did rave about Rian Johnson:
I was looping Episode VIII yesterday, and there’s dialogue in there, I thought, ‘Oh boy, I can already see this on a t-shirt. Rian Johnson is amazing. He’ll make you forget all about ‘May the Force be with you.’ He’s come up with so many new catchphrases.
Props also go to the fan who took advantage of a stumble where Mark forgot Rey’s first name to get him to reveal her last name, though Mark didn’t take the bait. Entertainment Weekly and /Film have the highlights.
Perhaps we were too quick to assume that Mark Hamill had lost the beard, though he does seem to be pulling double duty. (UPDATE: He’s now wrapped as well.)
And finally, your moment of zen: Gary Fisher with “his two favorite stalkers.” A weird thing happens when you start to see enough of those emoji: They start making sense. Maybe one day I’ll wake up being able to read Aurebesh after all.
We’ve been hoping we’ll get VIII’s title at the panel. @StarWars revealed The Force Awakens when that film finished principal photography – but Episode VI wasn’t finishing up around the time of the year’s big dedicated convention, either.
This does, however, likely mean that several cast members will still be in town. Of the VIII cast, only Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels and Peter Mayhew are confirmed guests for the con, but that’s never stopped Celebration – or any other major con – from bringing out folks before.
Mark Hamill, the man who didn’t even tell his own co-stars that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father, did not spoil anything when he referred to himself as being “out of work” after Episode VIII wraps. “I meant “out of work” because #Ep8 is wrapping soon, OK,” he tweeted today. I mean, guys, c’mon: Do not underestimate Mark Hamill’s secret-keeping abilities.
Looks like some enterprising fans have managed to sneak into the sprawling Episode VIII set at Pinewood, and got up close and personal with some of the structures there. (via) A second set of photos has also surfaced, these taken in daylight. (Although they also say it’s a different film studio!)
→ And finally, local sources have reported that the third actor who’s been spotted at the Ireland shoots has rejoined Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley. Recent reports of Carrie Fisher being present are likely false, as the date overlaps with her very public appearance in Cannes.