“In the home stretch,” Episode VIII director Rian Johnson posted, along with an image of a familiar (?) cape, on his Tumblr today. This pairs nicely with one he posted on his Instagram last week, which seems to feature similar rock formations. More of Ach-to?
Today’s big VIII buzz is that director Rian Johnson and several cast members have arrived at at Belfast International Airport in Northern Ireland, where they’re expected to film at Malin Head. (A familiar object is being built there.)
Mark Hamill went all out for the photographers, but his costars were less gregarious. Director Johnson and Daisy Ridley are no surprise, but the fourth person joining them may be, so click at your own risk.
→ Though Malin Head is the only known filming location in Northern Ireland, there are several in Ireland now – SWNN has a map.
→ John Boyega picked up a Chopard Trophy at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday, (alongside Bel Powley, who was rumored for a VIII role at one point) and even found time for a couple of interviews. With Variety he discussed Finn and Rey and described VIII as “a different take, darker, bigger” than The Force Awakens. At Vulture, he has nothing but praise for new costar Kelly Marie Tran.
→ Meanwhile, Oscar Isaac and his Poe Dameron haircut are doing publicity for X-Men: Apocalypse. To Collider he says “Poe has a lot of love to give,” while he tells Entertainment Tonight that VII characters will get “tested intensely.”
Bloodline has been out for nearly a week now, and we’ve had interviews with author Claudia Gray from Entertainment Weekly and StarWars.com (by our own James!) Questions answered include how she incorporated that one Leia meme, what part of ANH got retconed, and how you pronounce ‘Casterfo.’
On Twitter today, Pablo Hidalgo treated us to a bit of background on the origins of the book… Including where Episode VIII director Rian Johnson contributed:
Chris Miller, one of the directors of the upcoming Han Solo standalone, celebrated May the 4th by sharing a shot of Han’s iconic blaster. It’s not casting news, but we’ll take it. Episode VIII director Rian Johnson – who is currently shooting – opted for dry humor.
→ Remember the old Episode VII rumor about Luke’s hand floating through space? Well, in yesterday’s Sun interview, Mark Hamill confirmed that it was indeed in the script at one point. On that note, Vox’s Todd VanDerWerff takes a look back at The Force Awakens and the challenges of making a remake/revival fun. Meanwhile, io9 is looking for VIII clues in yesterday’s Daisy Ridley video.
→ Chuck Wendig shares the first line of Aftermath: Life Debt. ComicBook.com has the first look at The Force Awakens comic adaptation. It’s scripted by Wendig, but the preview features only Luke Ross’s interior art.
→ John Jackson Miller talks about writing Star Wars with Omni.
→ R2-D2 and C-3PO hung out in Entertainment Weekly’s elevator.
→ The Revenge of the Sith soundtrack is getting a limited release on vinyl.
→ StarWars.com has a look at upcoming The Force Awakens Funko Pop figures, including General Leia and Luke Skywalker.
→ And finally, my favorite new product: Star Wars Tiki cups.
Episode VIII director Rian Johnson highlights the microfiber sham guys in his Tumblr post marking the halfway point of filming.
Rock on, microfiber sham guys.
Lucasfilm senior editor Jennifer Heddle writes about Claudia Gray’s Bloodline on StarWars.com, teasing eight reasons why fans will want to read it. Among them: “Some of the story ideas and elements in this novel came straight from Rian Johnson, director of the forthcoming Episode VIII.”
Bloodline is out in hardcover and eBook on May 3.
We last checked in with Twitter’s greatest hits for the Rogue One teaser trailer. Since then, we’ve hung out with (actual) royalty, has a brief parentage panic, and (some) even read Bloodline. All that, and a couple of Star Wars directors, under the cut.
The U.K.’s Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry visited the set of Episode VIII at Pinewood Studios on Tuesday, meeting director Rian Johnson, stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, and many more. Click on the gallery pics for tweet links and captions.
There were fairly few revelations, naturally, but we do see Prince Harry in an A-wing, which could be either a red herring (from Rogue One, even?) or actually slated to return in VIII. We don’t get a complete look at the ship, at least not enough for a non-prophead like me to spot any differences. Journalist Rebecca English has a similar pic from a different angle.
Oscar Isaac spoke briefly to the Los Angeles Times about Episode VIII, comparing the experience to “making an independent film,” and saying that “Rian [Johnson] is definitely going to places and investigating things that haven’t really been done in the ‘Star Wars’ universe.”
In spoiler corner, Making Star Wars has descriptions of Luke Skywalker and Rey’s costumes, while The Movie Bit has pictures of the setup-in-progress at Ceann Sibéal. UPDATE: Artist Natalia Trykowska has drawn the outfits based on MSW’s description.