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A 34-second video that picks up where the last movie left off accompanied the news. The clip features Luke Skywalker (Mark Hammill) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) briefly—albeit intensely—staring at each other on a seaside cliff.
Rian Johnson, the writer and director of the upcoming film, abruptly yells “cut!” from a director’s chair. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he says, surrounded by his film crew, “welcome to episode eight.”
The upcoming Star Wars film will feature some new actors, the release said, including Benicio Del Toro, Laura Den, and Kelly Marie Tran. The first phase of the film’s production—principal photography—began at Pinewood Studios in London on Feb. 15.
Last month Disney said that it had postponed the new film’s release by seven months, thus giving an upcoming interstitial Star Wars film some breathing room. That movie, Rogue One, is set to appear Dec. 16, while Episode VIII is scheduled to debut in theaters on Dec. 15, 2017.