When it was announced that Star Wars: Episode VIII had officially begin production this past February, the press release included three new cast additions. These were Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro, Academy Award nominee Laura Dern, and talented newcomer Kelly Marie Tran. No character information has been revealed, though. Benicio Del Toro is believed to be playing a character caught between the light side and the dark side of the force. Kelly Marie Tran will join Finn on his solo adventure as Rey and Chewbacca try to bring Luke Skywalker back to the Resistance. But who, exactly, is Laura Dern playing? A new report from Latino Review claims to know the answer.

Star Wars: Episode VIII, also known in some circles under its shooting title Space Bear, wrapped up on-loction production this past week in Dubrovnik, Croatia. A lot of footage was shot on both city streets and on an ocean cruiser. Access to the set was more accessible, and plenty of paparazzi photos and video leaked from the shoot. Apparently, none of what was shot there involved Laura Dern's new character, though. She stayed behind at Pinewood Studios, where she has taken on the guise of a Resistance soldier who butts heads with Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron.

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The two actors are said to be shooting scenes on a set built to look like a starship, though the type of ship has yet to be identified. It is large enough that it has its own crew and droids aboard. There are also hairy alien creatures, all of which are practical. On the ship is a ragtag group of Resistance fighters who have seen plenty of battle. Laura Dern is said to be playing a captain, or leader to this group. She tells her crew that they are the last of the Resistence, and that General Leia has been severely injured. Leia is apparently receiving some kind of medical attention.

Poe Dameron and Laura Dern's unnamed Resistence leader share an antagonistic exchange, and it appears that she has some authority over him. The air is tense between these two. There is a second scene which is said to have Poe and his team taking over Laura Dern's ship. This moment finds Poe removing technicians from the ship while pointing a blaster at the back of the actress' head.

There are no other details about these two scenes. And the big takeaway might be that Leia is in danger. Latino Review goes onto report that Star Wars: Episode VIII may pay more of a homage to the prequel movies, and actually echo themes involving a larger political story arc. General Leia's injury is said to possibly cause a rift between varying members of the Resistence.

So far, Star Wars: Episode VIII has been confirmed to include three different locations. There will be an Urban setting, the ocean plant of Ach-To, and the deck of a medium to large sized Resistance spaceship. This will be the first live-action Star Wars movie to ever feature scenes set on a beach, which is exciting and probably necessary, as it seems this sequel wants to bring some fresh environments to the screen. What do you think? Is this getting you excited yet?

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange