Month: May 2016

Star Wars: Alden Ehrenreich cast as Young Han Solo

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Source: ScreenRant.Com

Disney’s continuation of the Star Wars franchise got off to a roaring start when Star Wars: The Force Awakens took the box office by storm a few months ago, leaving critics and fans alike eager to see what comes next in the main saga. There’s more than just Episodes VIII and IX to look forward to, however, as Disney has also launched a series of Star Wars spinoffs, starting with this year’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Among the planned spinoffs is a prequel about the life of rakish smuggler Han Solo, before he ran into Luke and Leia and became embroiled in a war against the Empire. While Harrison Ford returned to the iconic role for The Force Awakens, he’s a little bit too mature and distinguished now to be playing a twenty-something version of Han Solo (and he’s also busy getting ready to return to the Indiana Jones franchise), so Lucasfilm has been looking at a number of up-and-coming young actors for the role. However, according to reports there was one clear frontrunner: Hail, Caesar!‘s Alden Ehrenreich.

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Now the New York Post‘s Page Six is reporting that, according to “Hollywood sources,” Ehrenreich has finally landed the role. Page Six‘s insider said that “Alden really impressed Disney and Lucasfilm execs with his screen tests,” and that “The deal is basically done.” While that’s obviously not official, it certainly fits with what we’ve been hearing up until now about Disney and Lucasfilm’s interest in Ehrenreich, and the news has since been corroborated by THR, Variety, TheWrap and Deadline. In addition to his role in the Coen brothers’ most recent film, Ehrenreich also played the lead in 2013 fantasy romance Beautiful Creatures and appeared in Woody Allen drama Blue Jasmine. Check out some clips of Ehrenreich in Hail, Caesar! below.

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The Han Solo spinoff, which is set for release in 2018, has already stirred up interest due to the appointment of directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller – more commonly known as the duo that can spin gold from the seemingly very worst Hollywood ideas. The filmmaking pair previously directed the highly-praised movie reboot of 21 Jump Street, as well as its sequel 22 Jump Street, and were also the minds behind 2014’s animated hit The Lego Movie. The Han Solo spinoff is being co-written by The Force Awakens, Return of the Jedi and Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, and his son Jon Kasdan (The First Time).

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Lucasfilm’s focus right now is on promoting Rogue One, and there is a rumor that Rogue One will feature a small cameo by the new Han Solo, which would explain why the spinoff has started casting so early. We’ll keep following this story and keep you updated on any developments.

Who’s this guy?

Source: Wikipedia

Alden Caleb Ehrenreich (born November 22, 1989) is an American actor. He made his feature film debut in Francis Ford Coppola’s independent film Tetro (2009) and appeared in Coppola’s subsequent film Twixt (2011). In 2013, he appeared in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, Park Chan-wook’s Stoker and starred in Richard LaGravenese’s Beautiful Creatures. In 2016, he starred as Hobie Doyle in the Coen brothers comedy Hail, Caesar!.

Ehrenreich was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Sari (née Newmann), an interior designer, and Mark Ehrenreich. His stepfather, Harry Aronowitz, is an orthodontist. He is from a Jewish family (from Austria, Hungary, Russia, and Poland), and was raised in Reconstructionist Judaism. Ehrenreich began acting at the Palisades Elementary School in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, and continued doing so at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, California. After graduating from high school, he spent years at New York University studying acting but never finished his degree.

Ehrenreich was discovered at a friend’s bat mitzvah reception by Steven Spielberg, when Spielberg saw a short comedy featuring Ehrenreich. Ehrenreich has described the comedic performance he gave in the movie as: “I ran around as a skinny little punk, trying on girls’ clothes and eating dirt.” The meeting with Spielberg led to acting roles on television shows such as Supernatural and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. In 2007, Ehrenreich auditioned and won the role of Bennie Tetrocini in Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro. Coppola requested Ehrenreich read a passage from The Catcher in the Rye for his main audition. The film was released in limited release in 2009 and received generally positive reviews from critics; praising Ehrenreich’s performance. In 2011, he played a minor role in Coppola’s subsequent film Twixt and appeared alongside Natalie Portman in the Sofia Coppola-directed Miss Dior Cherie commercial.

hail-caesar-alden-fiennesAlden Ehrenreich and Ralph Fiennes in Hail, Caesar!, directed by the Coen brothers.

In 2013, he starred as Ethan Wate in the film adaptation of the novel Beautiful Creatures, and appeared as Whip Taylor in Park Chan-wook’s thriller film Stoker. He then played the stepson of Cate Blanchett in the Woody Allen-directed drama film Blue Jasmine. In 2016, Ehrenreich became more widely known for his co-leading role as Hobie Doyle in the Coen brothers film Hail, Caesar!, alongside a cast that included Josh Brolin and George Clooney. Many critics praised Ehrenreich’s performance in particular. Ehrenreich was cast in a leading role in Warren Beatty’s upcoming untitled Howard Hughes project. He will star in The Yellow Birds (2016) with Tye Sheridan, Jack Huston, and Jennifer Aniston.

In March 2016, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Ehrenreich was one of a number of actors to audition for the role of Han Solo for the upcoming Star Wars anthology film, and had made the final shortlist. On April 16, 2016, Deadline.com reported that he was the frontrunner for the role following a series of secret screen-tests. On May 5, 2016, Ehrenreich was cast as Han Solo, with the film following Solo’s early life before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

Han Solo director teases beginning of ‘shooting’

Source: ScreenRant.Com

Although the leading role has yet to be officially cast by Disney and LucasFilm tapped co-directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord (21 Jump Street, The LEGO Movie) for the Han Solo spinoff while Star Wars veteran Lawrence Kasdan is penning the script with his son Jon. Currently, Star Wars: Episode VIII is in the middle of production – with release scheduled for 2017 – but now Miller has teased the beginning of shooting on the Han Solo movie.

In honor of May 4th and #MayThe4thBeWithYou, Miller released a photo of Han Solo’s blaster on Twitter with the caption: “Can’t wait to get ‘shooting’!” Check out Miller’s tweet:

Of course, the photo and caption seem to be a reference to Han Solo’s iconic introduction in Star Wars: Episode IV– the quickdraw cantina scene in which Han shot firstduring a showdown with the alien bounty hunter Greedo – though the scene was hotly contested by Star Wars fans until the question was finally answered. However, Miller’s May the 4th Be With You tease also seems to indicate production will soon begin rolling on the Han Solostandalone project.

In terms of the Star Wars movie release slate, this particular anthology film will arrive sooner following the preceding movie than the others –The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and Episode VIII have all been scheduled roughly a year apart, whereas Han Solo will hit theaters six months after Episode VIII. So, the production on the Han Solo film may need to begin either prior to or shortly following the completion of shooting on Episode VIII, which recently passed the halfway point.

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That being said, the Han Solo spinoff seems to still be in the process of casting and has yet to announce the official star who will take on the role of the iconic Star Wars scoundrel – a role previously played by Harrison Ford. Last we heard, Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar) was the frontrunner, though other young up-and-comers like Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Dave Franco (Neighbors), and Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction) were rumored for the role as well. However, once the Han Solo film has found its star, it may not be long before shooting begins, as Miller teases.

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, and the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.

Boba Fett was going to be Return of the Jedi’s main villain

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Source: ScreenRant.Com

Movies can go through many changes before making it to the big screen, especially when they’re as complex and story-driven as the Star Wars movies. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, for instance, had a substantially different plot before an injury befell Harrison Ford and caused a major rewrite favoring newer characters over old.

The original trilogy was not immune from such major changes, either. While much has been said about how many changes George Lucas has made to the films after their release, there were even bigger changes made before they hit theaters.

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Speaking to Inverse, Lucasfilm’s first fan relations officer Craig Miller discussed some of the major changes that occurred between George Lucas’s original conception of the first Star Wars movies and their final versions. Among them: Boba Fett was set to be the main villain of the third movie, which eventually became Return of the Jedi:

“Originally Boba Fett was set up in Empire as a character, and the third movie’s plot was going to be more about Boba Fett rescuing Han Solo and all of that. Boba was gonna be the main villain… That was set up, why he was taking Han Solo away, why there was a thing with him in the Christmas special.”

So why did Boba get pushed to the sidelines in the final version of the movie? According to Miller, it was to move up events that were supposed to happen much later in the Star Wars timeline:

“When George decided not to make a third trilogy, he completely jettisoned that story line, which is why in the first ten minutes, Boba Fett gets bumped into and falls into the mouth of a giant monster. So he took what was planned for the third trilogy, which was the confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader, and the battle with the Emperor, and that got squished down from three movies to one movie. And that became the plot of Jedi.”

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Boba Fett in the restaured Han and Jabba scene for the DVD release of A New Hope.

The “third trilogy” comment is not a typo. While the original run of Star Wars films prior to its prequels was eventually limited to three movies, Miller says Lucas had a much grander scheme in mind involving not just three, but 12 whole movies:

“At first there was one film, and then George originally announced that it was one of 12, and there were going to be 12, and then that changed to, oh there was never 12, there was only 9, and he was going to make 9. And then during all of it, George kind of lost interest in continuing it… While we were working on The Empire Strikes Back, George decided he was going to complete the first film trilogy and that would be it.”

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Boba Fett to Vader’s order of “no disintegration”, in The Empire Strikes Back: “As you wish.”

The Star Wars universe as we know it today would certainly be vastly different if the original trilogy had been expanded to a 12-part series of films. As it stands, even with the prequels and The Force Awakens only seven movies have been released so far. The interview with Miller is interesting both as a look at what could have been and as a look at how spoilers were avoided by planting rumors about plot points that were never meant to be. But mostly, it’s a giant tease for die-hard fans of cinema’s most iconic intergalactic bounty hunter.

Boba Fett, a summary

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“Apart from his pay, which is considerable, Fett demanded only one thing: an unaltered clone for himself. Curious, isn’t it?”
― Lama Su, to Obi-Wan Kenobi, about Boba Fett’s creation

Source: StarWarsWikia.Com

Young_Boba_on_KaminoBoba Fett was a male human bounty hunter, and the genetic clone of infamous bounty hunter Jango Fett. Boba was created by the cloners on Kamino and was physically identical to the clone troopers created for the Grand Army of the Republic, though Boba was unaltered and did not grow at the same accelerated rate as the other Jango clones. Raised as Jango’s son, Boba learned the combat skills necessary to one day become a bounty hunter in his own right.

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Boba cradles his father’s helmet, swearing vengeance against the Jedi who killed Jango.

Jango was killed during the Battle of Geonosis, which sparked theClone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The young boy swore vengeance against Jedi Master Mace Windu, who killed Jango, and teamed with a group of bounty hunters that included Aurra Sing and Bossk. Their plot to kill Windu failed, and Boba realized that he had gone too far in trying to kill the Jedi Master—but he vowed never to forgive Windu. After serving a brief prison sentence, Boba formed a team of bounty hunters and took on a number of missions.

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Boba Fett follows the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back.

After the rise of the Galactic Empire, Boba gained a reputation as one of the galaxy’s deadliest bounty hunters. His distinctive Mandalorian armor helped keep stories about the Mandalorians alive in the galaxy after the Empire’s subjugation of the planet Mandalore. By the time of the Galactic Civil War, Boba worked for Jabba the Hutt. Shortly after theBattle of Hoth, Boba and other bounty hunters were gathered by Darth Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith, to locate Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon, hoping to use them to lure Luke Skywalker into a trap. The plot was successful, and Boba took Solo, who was frozen in carbonite, to Tatooine to collect the bounty that Jabba had placed on him.

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Untitled-1Boba Fett in Return of the Jedi: feed the Sarlacc? No, he doesn’t. There’s a theory saying Boba has survived the toxins inside Sarlacc and escaped, thanks to his Mandalorian armor.

After Solo’s friends in the Alliance to Restore the Republic mounted arescue on Tatooine, a battle broke out over the Great Pit of Carkoon. Boba fought against the Rebel rescuers and was inadvertently knocked into the Sarlacc.

A man of a few words

Source: BobaFettFanClub.Comstar-wars-boba-fett-2

In the original version for The Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett was played by actor Jeremy Bulloch and voiced by Jason Wingreen. For the DVD release of The Empire Strikes Back in 2004, his voice was dubbed by Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones – maybe because Lucasfilms artists thought if  Boba was a clone of his father Jango, both would have the same voice. Click here if you want to ear Jason Wingreen original voice for Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back.

Here are the complete quotes for Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back. Or how to be a badass with a few lines of dialogue.

“As you wish.”

“He’s no good to me dead.”

“What if he doesn’t survive? He’s worth a lot to me.”

“Put Captain Solo in the cargo hold.”

Boba Fett also has a “Wilhelm” scream as he falls into the Sarlacc. Some consider this the fifth line. Check out below all screen time for Boba Fett in the original version for The Empire Strikes Back:

1st appearance (1:05:16 – 1:05:57) is 41 seconds for the scene with all the bounty hunters standing and being addressed by Vader. Boba Fett says to Vader, “As you wish.”

2nd appearance (1:15:43 – 1:15:57) is 14 seconds, with 8 of these seconds being only his ship. This is the scene in which Boba Fett flies his ship after the Falcon.

3rd appearance (1:27:30 – 1:27:56) is 26 seconds. This is the scene in which Han fires his blaster at Vader, where he says “We would be honored if you would join us.”

4th appearance (1:29:41 – 1:30:28) is 47 seconds. This is the scene in which Han is tortured. Boba Fett says to Vader, “He’s no good to me dead.”

5th appearance (1:33:34 – 1:36:58) is 3 minutes 24 seconds. This is the scene in which Han is frozen. Boba Fett was going to fire at Chewbacca until stopped by Vader. Boba Fett says to Vader, “What if he doesn’t survive? He’s worth a lot to me.”

6th appearance (1:37:37 – 1:38:10) is 43 seconds. In this scene Boba Fett fires 4 blasts at Luke.

7th appearance (1:41:45 – 1:41:57) is 12 seconds. In this scene Han is put in Boba Fett’s ship. Boba Fett says to his Cloud City helper: “Put Captain Solo in the cargo hold.”

8th appearance (1:42:26 – 1:42:31) is 5 seconds. This scene shows only Boba Fett’s ship as it flies away.

Boba Fett’s 4 lines consist of 5 sentences total. All but the last line is spoken to Darth Vader. Boba Fett’s lines total 27 words. Boba Fett’s screen time is 6 minutes 32 seconds, where 13 seconds of which is his ship only. Only one scene is over 1 minute long. The second longest scene is 47 seconds long.

Happy Star Wars Day: May the 4th be with you!

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Happy Star Wars Day from Daisy Ridley

Daisy Ridley (joined by a few friends) wishes fans a happy Star Wars Day and offers thanks for all the money raised through Star Wars: Force for Change.

Click here for more informations or donate for Force for Change or visit the Star Wars official website.

Studying Skywalkers: May the 4th and the Cultural Significance of Star Wars

Source: starwars.com

Studying Skywalkers is an exclusive column that investigates the characters, themes, and lessons of Star Wars from an educational, literary perspective. In this special May the 4th installment, StarWars.com looks at the cultural significance of Star Wars and how it exemplifies the power of myth and storytelling.

A good story well told can have an impact that transcends generations. This is primarily due to the fact that a story carries with it an accurate portrayal of what we, as a society, value. It represents our cultural imperatives, values, and biases, as well as our greatest desires and fears. They capture our imagination, take us to far away, exotic locales, and inspire us to believe in something beyond ourselves.

While no one really knows when the first story was told, scholars do know that storytelling has been important for a very long time. Synonymously, the earliest storytellers were held in high esteem in their respective culture, since a good storyteller had to not only explain the world around them, but also had to create a medium that was powerful, visual, and unforgettable. Paper was not yet invented, and the wonders of the universe were not fully understood. As a result, a good storyteller was indispensable to preserve each culture’s unique traditions. The storyteller had to capture what mattered, and bring it across generations, to help preserve the core themes and values of the civilization. Out of this necessity, mythology was born, and the art form of storytelling was conceived.

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Perhaps no story has more powerfully captured the minds and hearts of our culture quite like Star Wars. For so many of us, the work of George Lucas ushered in a new mythology that changed the way we think about the world around us. Not only has Star Wars changed the way movies are made, marketed, and experienced, but it also continually taps into the zeitgeist of why stories are relevant today. Star Wars is renown for its visual splendor and captivating characters, but it also encapsulates the values, dreams, and fears that are essential to us as a society. It inspires and entertains us in many unique ways. On May the 4th, we celebrate the wonder of our beloved galaxy far, far away, and reflect on why Star Wars is the great modern mythology for our times.

StarWars.com checked in with three authorities on Star Wars and storytelling: Chris Taylor (author of How Star Wars Conquered The Universe), Pablo Hidalgo (author and creative executive at Lucasfilm), and Steve Sansweet (president and CEO of Rancho Obi-Wan) to get their perspective on the significance of Star Wars as the great modern mythology. Each is a storyteller in their own right, and all of them have helped to manifest the storytelling impact that Star Wars has had on us universally.

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Chris Taylor: Star Wars is the first myth we all embraced as a global culture. What that culture has done with the story is remarkable. It is emergent behavior: fans continue to fashion all kinds of memes, fictions, and behaviors out of its raw materials, far beyond anything its creators anticipated. The myth is evolving. What that means for the future is anyone’s guess, but I think it’s instructive to look at the history of fairy tales in Europe. Stories like Red Riding Hood have thrived in evolving forms for hundreds if not thousands of years. Star Wars is universally applicable, enough for it to potentially last as long.

Pablo Hidalgo: Star Wars is ultimately a modern way to tell ancient stories. It uses modern techniques and visuals to distill some of the oldest lessons from our collective mythology. It reaches deep into our collective history as social beings, but at the same time it never ends up being too heavy. It spices up these lessons with thrilling adventure, heartfelt camaraderie, and above all, an effervescent energy that makes it accessible to all ages.

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Steve Sansweet: Certainly there are movies that people talk about — and even watch year after year — decades after they’ve been released, such as The Wizard of Oz. But for the Star Wars saga films to still be front-of-mind, soul-deep, and much beloved nearly 40 years after the first movie was released, puts them in a category all by themselves. We’ve just commemorated the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and while I can hardly predict the future, it wouldn’t surprise me if people worldwide still remember the cultural phenomenon that Star Wars has become hundreds of years from now. And a large part of that can be attributed to the ancient myths, some thousands of years old, that underlie many of the characters and storylines of the Star Wars films. The Skywalker family story, based on the hero’s journey, the choices we all make in life, the chance for someone’s final redemption despite never-ceasing hostilities in the world — these have contributed to Star Wars becoming a touchstone across cultures, borders, and all the other barriers we confront on a daily basis.

May the 4th is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the impact that Star Wars has had on us culturally. This galaxy from far, far away reinforces cultural values recognized universally, and reminds us of what we value in storytelling. It is ensconced in our collective consciousness, as all great stories are, and is the modern archetypal blueprint that is the great mythology for our times.

Episode VIII set photos feature Millennium Falcon & Ahch-To

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Photos have revealed that Star Wars most famous spaceship has touched down in London

The Millennium Falcon was spotted for the first time this summer as the highly-anticipated Star Wars Episode VIII is filmed at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. Photographs showed the famous aircraft next to a huge set which closely resembles the world that Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, visited at the end of last summer’s Star Wars Episode VII when she finally tracked down missing Jedi Luke Skywalker.

A second set was set built up near that of the Millennium Falcon, but it is unknown at this stage what the intended setting will be, with fans of the franchise going into rumour-mill overdrive online as they face a long wait until the film is finally released. But while little is known about the plot of the next chapter of the galaxy spanning saga, these new photos of filming give a snippet into what fans can expect to see in the follow up to The Force Awakens.

Principal photography began on the next installment in February, but was pushed back earlier this year around the same time the release date was changed from May to December 2017. Since filming began on February 10 and April 28 marks the halfway point, filmmakers are apparently expecting the 22 week shoot to wrap on July 15. 

1Photos have revealed that Star Wars most famous spaceship, the Millennium Falcon, has touched down in London for filming.

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4Photographs showed the famous aircraft next to a huge set which closely resembles the world that Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, visited at the end of last summer’s Star Wars VII.

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8While little is known about the plot of the next chapter of the galaxy spanning saga, new photos of filming give a snippet into what fans can expect to see in the follow up to The Force Awakens.

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10Halfway there: Star Wars director Rian Johnson revealed some behind the scenes Episode VIII photos on Thursday, and confirmed filming is halfway done.

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13Another set, partially built, is shown as filming continues on Star Wars VIII, the second film to be made in the series since the franchise was bought by Disney.

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Text and Photos: dailymail.co.uk

Set photos feature Millennium Falcon & Ahch-To

In the final scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, fans at long last learned the answer to the question that bugged them the most during the buildup: “Where’s Luke Skywalker?” Arriving on a mysterious island in an uncharted part of the galaxy, young Rey finds the grizzled hero at the top of the “Jedi Steps,” holding out Luke’s old lightsaber as a way of asking him to rejoin the fray. The movie’s screenplay revealed that this planet is named Ahch-To. To shoot the now famous climactic sequence, J.J. Abrams and crew went to Skellig Michael in Ireland.

Rian Johnson was able to use the location to film some scenes for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII (which can be seen in the production announcement video), but Skellig Michael is hardly the easiest place in the world to access. With Star Wars 8 seemingly picking up right from where Force Awakens left off, Ahch-To could factor heavily into the plot as Rey commences training with Luke. It would appear that Johnson does indeed have big plans for the planet, since the island has been recreated at Pinewood Studios in London.

The Daily Mail had a batch of set photos that show a substantial replication of Skellig Michael. The scope and effort on display is quite astonishing, and a clear indication that Johnson intends to carry over the practical filmmaking techniques Abrams incorporated in Episode VII. A full scale Millennium Falcon model is also included in some of the pictures, suggesting that Chewbacca and R2-D2 (who accompanied Rey to Ahch-To) are still with her while she’s with Luke. Star Wars Direct shared some of the images on Twitter:

Overall, the Ahch-To set strongly resembles the Skellig Michael location with a few alterations – namely the large tree. Making Star Wars theorizes that Rey could undergo a test there, similar to Luke’s experience at the Dagobah cave in The Empire Strikes Back, but at this point it’s difficult to say for sure. Regardless, having the set should prove to be valuable as principal photography chugs along, giving Johnson a more readily available Jedi Steps to film on. It’s becoming apparent that viewers will see more of Ahch-To in Episode VIII, as earlier set photos showcased huts being constructed, perhaps where Luke calls home. Lucasfilm wouldn’t commission all of this if the planet was just making a cameo.

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While The Force Awakens implies Luke went into exile after his pupil Ben Solo turned to the Dark Side and became Kylo Ren, it’s never revealed why he specifically went to Ahch-To. Han Solo believed his old friend was searching for the first Jedi Temple, but Luke’s mission hasn’t been officially confirmed yet. With Mark Hamill having a substantial role in Star Wars 8, it’s likely that fans learn the answers to some of the burning questions they have about Luke. The potential importance of Ahch-To and Luke’s possible connection with Rey are tantalizing elements to explore, and with a talented director like Johnson at the helm, it looks like the story is in strong hands.

Text source: ScreenRant.Com.