With the “Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens” making a strong entry for Disney’s and LucasFilm’s new trilogy, it’s no question that the company is eager to make another box office success. Now, reports have circulated, stating that the yet-to-be-titled follow-up to Disney’s recent success has now started filming.

Entertainment Weekly reports that director Rian Johnson, who’s best known for mind-melting films such as “Looper” and “Brick” has began filming “Star Wars: Episode VIII.” The film was supposed to begin filming in January. However, the principal photography was moved to a later date and the movie’s release changed to December 2017, seven months after its supposed screening.

“Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” has surpassed the US$2 billion mark (AU$281 billion) in worldwide box office, with its domestic release earning Disney over AU$1.26 billion (US$900 million). Count in merchandise and other consumer products and you have another AU$4.1 billion (US$3 billion) on top of the global revenue.

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“There is no better way to propel this franchise into the future than producing quality products,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said. “Filming of Star Wars: Episode VIII, the next chapter of the legendary saga, has just commenced and it will be in theaters December 2017. And production of Episode IX, a 2019 release, has also begun,” said Iger in Disney’s quarterly earnings call.

Of course, Episode VIII is moving up to at least answer a couple of questions and tighten some loose ends that transpired in “The Force Awakens.” For example, there are many theories that Rey is actually Luke Skywalker’s daughter and Mara Jade may be the mother.

Mara Jade is an assassin-turned-Jedi Knight and is the primary love interest for Luke Skywalker. However, Mara Jade exists in the Expanded Universe, which, at this point, is no longer canon.

Still, fans are holding out that she would appear once again in the new movies, or at least have a character that would resemble her. However, if there’s any indication that a wife for Luke exists, Movie Pilot notes that she would probably be dead as the final scene of Episode VII has him standing by what looks like a tombstone.

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