The Countdown Begins

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Star Wars Episode VIII officially began filming today (the 15th of February in the US, the 16th here in Australia).

Rian Johnson, the director of the next installment in the ongoing saga of the Skywalker family, along with Disney, made a point of sharing this milestone with fans, posting to social media and various other sites.

Disney and Rian even released some footage officially commemorating the first day of filming.

The most special thing about that footage is that it shows us Luke Skywalker as more than a figure standing against a beautiful, scenic background in a wide shot.

The footage is brief, and like a lot of fans I’ve watched it a few times.  It begins with a zoom in across a body of water, with the island Luke has been hiding on centre screen, then switches to a close up of the Jedi Master, followed by a shot of Rey handing Luke his lightsaber.

From there we see a shot of Rian Johnson (very happily) saying “cut… beautiful.”  That’s followed by a simple graphic that reads ‘VIII’.  Then we’re back to Rian who says “…ladies and gentlemen, welcome to episode eight.”

The last thing we see is a graphic that reads ‘NOW IN PRODUCTION’.

Disney let the world know via the official Star Wars website, and their announcement was picked up by pretty much every science fiction and general entertainment website on the internet.

To read the official announcement and watch the footage from Lucasfilm and Disney, click here.

If you can’t tell, I’m bloody excited!

I’m looking forward to the anthology films, but with no where near as much excitement as I’m looking forward to Episode VIII!

I love this sort of fan service.  It makes us a part of the journey without ruining a thing, and it hypes up our anticipation.  The only disappointment for me in Episode VII, was the lack of Luke.  Getting this unexpected early gift from the production team was perfection.

I hope we get a few additional little glimpses as filming continues over the next few months.

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