Star Wars: Episode VIII has entered week two of filming, and we finally have our first set photos. Though, they aren't all that exciting or revealing. The first image is courtesy of director Rian Johnson, who Tweeted a photo of a crossword puzzle in celebration of his continued work on the sequel. If you look closely, you can see what appears to be part of a set along with his morning coffee.This image arrives with news of an actual shooting location and photos of an exterior set as it comes together.
Episode VIII is gearing up to shooting in Dubrovnik, Croatia. And it's not happening in the wild. Rian Johnson and his team are actually shooting on city streets. And they are turning one souvenir shop into a galactic outpost. This set can be seen in the photos below. They arrive with this message from the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, who address Star Wars: Episode VIII under its working title Space Bear.
"Dear visitors, Dubrovnik will soon again be the host of the big american production "Space Bear," which confirms our city as an attractive filming location. For a couple of days in March traffic in the Old Town will be specially regulated. We believe this situation will not cause problems to you, and that you will have a pleasant time in Dubrovnik. Preparations of the sets will happen on the 9th and 10th of March from 6pm to 12am, and preparation for filming and filming itself will happen on 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th of March, specifically 4am to 4pm for the filming preparations, and 4pm to 4am of the next day for the filming itself. Thanks for understanding and we wish you a pleasant stay in Dubrovnik."
While preparations for this shoot aren't happening until Mid-March, you can see that the sets are already being constructed. It has been rumored that Benicio Del Toro is the main cast member participating in this particular location shoot. It has also been rumored that Carrie Fisher is heading to Croatia as well. Is Benicio Del Toro's unidentified character somehow tied to General Leia? We don't know yet. But with shooting taking place on city sidewalks and in the midst of the general public, it's possible that we could get an early look at both characters this March.
For anyone planning a trip to visit Croatia during shooting, this particular location is being built on Stradun Street. And it is actually a souvenir shop. It isn't know if only the exterior of the location is being used, or if shooting will take place inside the store as well. The Dubrovnik Times had this to say about the shop's transformation.
"This souvenir shop of the Stradun is in the process of being transformed into a distant world."
If you're confused by the Space Bear title, that was revealed last week by Carrie Fisher to be the secret shooting title of Star Wars: Episode VIII. This title would usually keep paparazzi and other spies from infiltrating the set, but it's out in the open now. We're not sure if there's any special meaning behind the fake title. The Star Wars franchise does have a long history of working titles, though. When Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi was in production, George Lucas gave it the secret working title of Blue Harvest. More recently, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was rumored to shoot under the fake title AVCO, while the upcoming spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story reportedly shot under the code name /star-wars-8-production-start-date/Lunak Heavy. You can take a look at the first Star Wars: Space Bear set photos below.
Week 2. Good morning! pic.twitter.com/17gExepdxs— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) February 22, 2016
Sets are going up in Dubrovnik for Star Wars Episode 8 filming!!!! pic.twitter.com/aqpVomVow0— court (@Courtney_Gacek) February 22, 2016