Star Wars Episode VIII: No US Filming

Today, we received this inquiry from one of our readers:

“Do you know they’re going to film all this month in Las Vegas in the desert for Jakku scenes? So do you think this will be the final third act of the film?”

– James Wright, Virginia

James’ belief is a familiar tune.

Last March, it was speculated that Star Wars: Episode VIII will be filming in Las Vegas. Making Star Wars reported that director Rian Johnson and crew were scouting locations west of Las Vegas, ostensibly to represent:

  • the desert landscape of Jakku, or
  • the reported casino scene that Luke and Rey will visit

A number of websites also referenced this tidbit from Clancy Report, a dubious site that didn’t cite any sources for its info:

Writer and director Rian Johnson is said to have personally chosen the location and will need the help of an extraordinarily large number of extras from Las Vegas and the surrounding area.  Reports claim that a big reason in choosing to film in Nevada is that the state has recently been providing significant incentives to production companies that choose to film in their state.

Today, in response to a US fan asking about extras, director Rian Johnson took to Twitter to deny shooting not just in Vegas, but anywhere in the States:

The production epicenter of Star Wars is currently Pinewood Studios in London. Episode VIII is now filming there, while Rogue One will start the reshoots next month. After that, the massive soundstages will be the home of young Han Solo come January.

Some of the work for Episode VIII has been outsourced to Longcross Studios in Surrey, home of the life-size Falcon and Ahch-To set. The Daily Mail and other outlets mistook it for Pinewood, and the set has suffered numerous break-ins from intrepid spies and urban explorers. Also involved in Episode VIII production is Imaginarium Studios, a digital studio specializing in motion-capture scenes founded by Andy Serkis (who also plays Snoke).

Episode VIII was also rumored to be scouting locations in Iceland, as well as caves in Mexico. However, Rian may have resolved the latter by building his own cave/cliff/granite mountainside in Pinewood last week:

A post shared by Rian Johnson (@riancjohnson) on

So no, James from Virginia, it seems like Episode VIII won’t be coming stateside. Though it would be nice if the rumored “binary sunset” scene would be shot in Death Valley, as a throwback to A New Hope!


Can’t wait for Episode VIII? Check out the latest on Rogue One and its mysterious orange crates!

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