Star Wars 8: Laura Dern joins cast

Filming is officially underway for The Force Awakens' follow-up

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Laura Dern has joined the cast of Star Wars: Episode VIII

The casting announcement comes as cameras officially begin rolling on the sequel to JJ Abrams' The Force Awakens.

As you would expect, it is unclear who Dern will play but she joins the likes of John Boyega (Finn), Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) who all reprise their roles for the upcoming sequel.

Benicio del Toro will also star in the as-of-yet unnamed sequel as the primary villain. 

On directing duties is Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper) who has personally announced the commencement of filming on-set in this new production video.

Dern's credits include Jurassic Park and Wild as well as the David Lynch films Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart and Inland Empire. She was recently confirmed to be starring in Lynch's revival of his popular television series Twin Peaks which will premiere early 2017.

Star Wars: Episode VIII was originally due for release May 2017, but will now be released that December.

Gareth Edwards' spin-off prequel Rogue One, starring Felicity Jones, Riz Ahmed and Ben Mendelsohn, will be released this coming December