Star Wars: Episode VIII Wraps Shooting

In a special message, director Rian Johnson confirms that the highly-anticipated film has completed principal photography.

The next film in the Star Wars saga has finished one part of its journey to our galaxy.

Director Rian Johnson announced today on the official Star Wars Facebook and Twitter channels that Star Wars: Episode VIII has wrapped shooting. “Final slate of the final shot,” Johnson wrote of an accompanying short video. “VIII is officially wrapped. Thanks to the best cast and crew in the galaxy, and thanks to the fans for all the love and support through the whole process. Cannot wait to put it together and share it with you all!”

The announcement follows Johnson’s appearance at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 in London, where he pulled back the curtain — just a little — on the film. During his discussion with Pablo Hidalgo of the Lucasfilm Story Group, Johnson confirmed that Episode VIII will begin in a way no other Star Wars film has. “For the first time, this movie is going to start where the last one left off,” he said. Production went back to Skellig Michael, the setting of Rey’s meeting with Luke Skywalker, to shoot. Johnson described it as “a very mystical, magical place…It was appropriately surreal.” He shared several behind-the-scenes photos, including those seen in the gallery below: a shot of the return to Skellig Michael, a photo of Star Wars Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni’s set visit, and a glimpse of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards in-costume for a cameo.

Star Wars: Episode VIII is set to hit theaters on December 15, 2017. “I’m really looking forward to the next year and a half,” Johnson said to fans at Celebration, in anticipation of the release. “I think we’re going to have a really good time together.” All Star Wars, all the time.