Benicio Del Toro was announced to be playing a villain in the film. He was previously cast as Darth Maul, the primary antagonist of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999), but dropped out after George Lucas removed most of Maul's lines from the script.
Ewan McGregor has expressed his interest to reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in this film.
It was confirmed in 2016 that John Williams will compose the music for Episode VIII. This will be the 8th Star Wars film he composes.
First film in the series in which Kenny Baker was not involved in the portrayal of R2-D2. Jimmy Vee was given the job, shortly before Baker's death.
Early filming took place with Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley on Skellig Michael off the coast of County Kerry, Ireland, in late September 2015. On February 15, 2016, LucasFilm posted a short production-announcement video, which included some footage and behind-the-scenes shots, and which picks up immediately after the final scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). Main photography was scheduled to begin in early January 2016, but was delayed a month reportedly due to script revisions, and began on February 15.
Carrie Fisher was also a well-known writer, whose services were often called upon to act as script doctor for other films. She later began declining such assignments when producers would solicit her story ideas, then hire someone else to actually change the script, using her ideas without paying her. However, Rian Johnson revealed that Fisher helped with the writing of the script for this film.
On December 2015 the production team of this film and Rogue One (2016) went to Mexico City looking for filming locations, specifically at Iztapalapa and Tlahuac boroughs. It was later confirmed that some scenes for both films would be filmed in Mexico City, but due to some trouble with the local government the filming was cancelled.
Director Rian Johnson has said that the film took inspiration from Twelve O'Clock High (1949), Letter Never Sent (1960), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and Three Outlaw Samurai (1964).
The film will be released over 40 years after Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and will mark the 40th anniversary of the Star Wars film franchise.
Lawrence Kasdan initially wrote a story outline for the film, but was called away to work on Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) when problems arose with that film's initial script. When Rian Johnson signed on as director he requested to be allowed to scrap Kasdan's story and write his own script from scratch, which the producers consented to, as Kasdan's outline no longer matched up with the finished storyline of the previous film.
Billie Lourd who played Lieutenant Connix is the previous film will have a bigger role in this film. Billie is also the Daughter of Carrie Fisher.
Rian Johnson was influenced by Twelve O'Clock High (1949) and Letter Never Sent (1960) (known as "Letter Never Sent" in English-speaking countries) and arranged for screenings for the crew prior to filming.
The Irish location filming in Donegal was intended to follow on from the dark Skellig ending of "The Force Awakens". However the weather was unseasonably good and shooting took longer than expected.
Kelly Marie Tran didn't tell anyone that she was doing the movie and lied that she was doing an indie movie in Canada. At one point, she actually got some maple syrup to bring back to her parents, so they actually thought she was in Canada.
Rian Johnson was originally considered to direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).
The title of "Star Wars VIII The Last Jedi" was first published in Spanish and translated to "The Last Jedis", meaning the title is plural.
As with Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), the episode number will not be included in the official marketing of the film. However, it will appear in the opening title crawl.
During the trailer, there is a shot of what appears to be several books old on a shelf. We then see a shot of a gloved hand running over a faded tome with the symbol of the jedi on it. In the Force Awakens we are told Luke was searching for the first Jedi Temple. It is possible in the caves of the planet Ahch-to, he found the ancient texts of those first force users. A parallel may be drawn in real life to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the founding documents of Christianity (through which, Lucas drew inspiration for the original Star Wars) being found in caves in Israel and the Middle East
Mark Hamill told Rian Johnson after reading the script for the film, "I pretty much fundamentally disagree with every choice you've made for this character [Luke Skywalker]. Now, having said that, I have gotten it off my chest, and my job now is to take what you've created and do my best to realize your vision."
On January 24th 2017, the title of the film was announced as Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
The "STAR WARS" logo is red. Possibly meaning that "THE LAST JEDI" is coinciding the ruby anniversary year, celebrating 40 years of the franchise since the original movie was released in 1977.
Carrie Fisher credited Miguel Ferrer for preparing her for her original audition for the role of Leia. Ferrer later became known for playing Agent Albert Rosenfeld in 'Twin Peaks (1990)(TV)'. Like Fisher, Ferrer ended up returning to that role decades later in 'Twin Peaks (2017)(TV)', but also died before its premiere. Laura Dern appears in both Twin Peaks and The Last Jedi.
Benicio Del Toro is the fifth Academy Award winner to star in a Star Wars film, after Alec Guinness, Natalie Portman, Lupita Nyong'o and Forest Whitaker.
Tom Hardy, who makes a cameo appearance as a storm trooper, made one of his earliest film appearances in Star Trek: Nemesis (2002). He also appeared in Black Hawk Down (2001) with Ewan McGregor. He and Mark Hamill have also both appeared in the Batman franchise. Hardy played Bane in The Dark Knight Rises (2012), while Hamill voiced the Joker.
The title of this film, "The Last Jedi," was revealed on January 23, 2017. The phrase appears in the opening crawl of "The Force Awakens", making this the first time the title of a Star Wars film appeared in an opening crawl.
Tim Rose in his Admiral Ackbar look changes his iconic line "It's a trap" to "It's A Wrap" as a after filming was wrap.
Third Star Wars movie to take place directly after the events of the previous movie. A New Hope took place directly after the events of Rogue One - A Star Wars Story. Return of the Jedi took place directly after the events of The Empire Strikes Back.
The fourth Star Wars film to be released in IMAX, being the second film in the franchise to be filmed partially in the format.
The Aurebesh lettering on Rose Tico's Resistance coveralls reads 'GLD' and 'landing officer'. The same words were printed on the background alien Vober Dand's clothing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and according to the Visual Guide published for that movie, 'GLD' stands for 'Ground Logistics Division'.
Laura Dern has starred as Sandy Williams in David Lynch's classic thriller Blue Velvet (1986). David Lynch also directed Dune (1984) based on the science fiction fantasy novel by Frank Herbert. It had been acknowledged and speculated that Dune was one of George Lucas's influences behind the Star Wars saga and David Lynch had turned down the offer to direct Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) to direct Dune.
Released the same day as 20th Century Fox's Ferdinand (2017), similar to how Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) released the same day as 20th Century Fox's Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (2015).