Despite a belief by some that Star Wars Episode VIII won’t film until after The Force Awakens releases, more and more evidence is coming that filming will begin very early.
Last month, MakingStarWars.net heard that the Star Wars crew would return to Skellig Michael island in Ireland this October to begin filming scenes for Star Wars: Episode VIII. One group of Star Wars fans were hoping it was to film additional scenes for Episode VII, but October would be pretty late for that.
Today the Irish Examiner has reported that Skellig Michael will be off limits to tourists beginning September 14th, and they too say it’s for a future movie (not VII):
“Speculation has increased that Skellig Michael, off the coast of Kerry, will once again act as a set for the continuing Star Wars franchise after it emerged no regular sailings to the Unesco World Heritage site are planned for the week beginning September 14.
The Irish Examiner was told yesterday that boatmen are not available that week, fueling talk the uninhabited island will once again act as backdrop in scenes in a future Star Wars film”
“It was reported earlier this year that Star Wars may return to the island this year, and the lack of regular boatmen sailings lends credence to the idea of its unique scenery getting an intergalactic makeover.
Calls to the department, the OPW, Unesco, and Disney in London and Dublin yesterday were unsuccessful in confirming a film shoot is going ahead in September. However, it was announced earlier this year that more Star Wars films, including three spin-offs, will be made.
All queries were diverted to the Irish Film Board, but no one was available for comment.”
Star Wars: Episode VIII is set for a May 2017 release. That’s less than a year and a half after the opening of The Force Awakens this December. In order to meet that release date, they likely will need to begin filming this year as opposed to later in 2016.