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Star Wars announces new cast members of Episode VIII – alongside a sneak peek of filming


Benicio del Toro is among the new cast announced for Star Wars Episode VIII as it begins filming in London.

Wild actress Laura Dern and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran were also announced on the franchise’s official Facebook page, although no further details were given on their roles.

Star Wars | Facebook

The new casting was released alongside a short clip of the movie that also introduced new director Rian Johnson, who replaces JJ Abrams.

The clip picked up from the first meeting of Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on the planet of Ahch-To, with Rey offering him his old lightsaber.

The accompanying post read: “We are thrilled to announce Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran will join Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill and director Rian Johnson for Star Wars: Episode VIII, which begins shooting at London’s Pinewood Studio today. May the Force be with you, always.”

Benicio del Toro
Benicio del Toro is expected to play a baddie (Ian West/PA)

The footage was filmed in September at the same location as scenes for Episode VII, on the island of Skellig Michael, off the coast of County Kerry, Ireland.

Benicio is best known for his roles in Traffic and Guy Ritchie’s Snatch and is expected to play a baddie in the new movie, while Laura is famous for her role in 1993′s Jurassic Park and her recent Oscar-nominated turn playing Bobbi, the mother of Reese Witherspoon’s character in Wild.

They will be joined by relative newcomer Kelly Marie, who has appeared in a number of CollegeHumour videos and small roles in TV series like About A Boy.

Laura Dern Star Wars
Wild’s Laura Dern has also been announced for the next chapter of the franchise (Andreas Branch/AP/PA)

Director Rian is credited as a writer on the new film alongside George Lucas.

John, who will reprise his role as Finn, picked up the EE Rising Star Bafta on Sunday night and confirmed he was due on set just hours after his win.