New STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Set Photos; Episode VIII Star Date; Characters Confirmed

The cover of the latest issue of Vanity Fair features some of the cast of J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens in character. There's Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Harrison Ford as Han Solo; along with Chewie and BB8. 

Below you'll find a great batch of new official images from Star Wars: The Force Awakens courtesy of Vanity Fair and they're quite revealing indeed. It seems J.J. Abrams has decided to let a few items slip free from his "mystery box", as these stills confirm that it is indeed Adam Driver under the mask of the sinister Kylo Ren. Plus we see Lupita Nyong’o shooting scenes as her still unnamed mo-cap character, possibly Maz Kanata, and a whole host of new aliens and creatures. There's also a BTS video featuring comments from Abrams and some of the cast.

Now that we have confirmation that Adam Driver would be playing the villainous 'Kylo Ren' in the much-anticipated seventh installment in the Star Wars saga. We also got a look at several of Driver's co-stars, including Lupita Nyong'o filming mo-cap scenes. Now it seems we can tick Gwendoline Christie's character off of the list of unnamed roles. A new image taken from the Star Wars Vanity Fair issue appears to confirm that she will play "First Order Officer, Captain Phasma".

The British government formally announced Monday that episode eight of the Star Wars franchise will be shot at Pinewood Studios just outside of London.

"Pleased to announce #StarWarsVIII will be filmed here in UK @PinewoodStudios – great news for @starwars fans & our UK creative industries," tweeted George Osborne, the U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer, the British equivalent of the secretary of the Treasury. Osborne also trumped up the $152 million (₤100 million) inward investment and 3,000 jobs the production will bring.

The news comes on Star Wars Day (May the Fourth), but also coincidentally a bank holiday Monday in the U.K. Lucasfilm and Disney representatives couldn't immediately be reached. Pinewood declined to comment.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opens in theaters December 18, 2015. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan & Abrams, and features a cast including actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. They will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker. The film is being produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk, and John Williams returns as the composer. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is Episode VII in the Star Wars Saga

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