Rian Johnson, Warwick Davis, speeders, water, Croatians! Dubrovnik Star Wars: Episode VIII filming is happening!

Rian Johnson has arrived to shoot Star Wars: Episode VIII in Dubrovnik. Warwick Davis is on location and there’s some clarification on the speeder filming. Our buddy in Dubrovnik has been busy  keeping us up-to-date with the goings-on in Croatia!

  • Director Rian Johnson arrived to Dubrovnik Airport at Ćilipi this morning;
  • Mark Hamill (or his double) confirmed to continue shooting on the Banje beach location.
  • Municipal fortification system added as a shooting location, with a huge green screen erected below the Minčeta walls.
  • A British paparazzi evicted from his rented Stradun apartment and forced to leave the city under a police escort.
  • Costume designer Michael Kaplan spotted onsite during the Banje and Minčeta sequences.
  • Star Wars veteran Warwick Davis spotted segwaying Dubrovnik streets, allegedly playing several alien little people roles.

Another stunt of a person flying through the air:

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Moreover, our friends on a certain crew believe Chloe Bruce is scheduled to crash the speeder in the wall pillars tonight…

Our bud in Debrovnik then goes onto say:

  • In addition to a previous photo set attributed to our Požega-based visitor Domagoj Pandžić, we snapped two more yesterday afternoon: one of them demonstrates the aforementioned “funeral procession” happenings on the Banje beach, while the other was taken in front of the Rector’s Palace…
  • As you and your readers might know, the Ragusan (i.e. old Dubrovnik’s) Rector’s Palace (Knežev dvor) is used for the interiors, like Caserta’s Royal Palace in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. With its mighty defense structure that housed the Minor Council, it dates as far back as to the Middle Ages, flourishing as the seat of public authorities ever since the 14th c. Interestingly, it was architected by Onofrio della Cava, the same guy responsible for the Dubrovnik “Star Wars fountain.” Formerly a nice Gothic and Renaissance architectonic exemplar, it was later reconstructed in the baroque style.
  • The pillars toward the end of the Stradun set are purposely progressively “damaged.” A speculation that this ruination and dilapidation will be allegedly inflicted by a battle of a kind proved completely incorrect, as our visiting friend from Požega (northwestern Croatia) sent the attached photo to our editorial board: it clearly depicts a rehearsal of a tarped landspeeder “crashing” in the walls. Look how meticulously aligned the speeder contours are on the styrofoam walls, and a derailing construction is clearly visible on the street’s cobblestones! Add the ILM miracle to it in post-production and you’ll definitely have a memorable police hunt scene worth watching over and over again. Reportedly, this chase-and-crash sequence will be shot soon, as the set (which is momentarily open to pedestrians) closes again this afternoon.
  • As per yesternight, our informant has said the extras have been actually summoned and contracted by Lucasfilm/Disney for the Space Bear Industries endeavor months ago, but were obliged to remain tight-lipped for the time being (and a per diem approximately amounting to US $60).
  • With the rumors of a possible Lando Calrissian-Luke Skywalker reunion in Dubrovnik’s “Exotic City” (believed to stand in for Corellia), there’s a hypothesis the black extra’s senatorial gown and the mode they were directed to appear on the Banje beach suggest rather a solemn funeral procession/rite than a celebration/ceremony.
  • Bearing in mind the Aurebesh “CBPD” markings on the samurai-like militia helmets and invoking some early The Empire Strikes Back concept art for the Cloud City soldiers,  gossip has it that it could even be a sequence following Han Solo’s demise or even his funeral/observance service.
  • Moreover, what appeared to be yet another covered speeder transported to the beach by the technicians was actually dug into the arenaceous surface (i.e. an approximately commensurate hole was excavated on the beach to house the vehicle while shooting).
  • Our source is unsure, however, whether this vehicle is aquatic and sunken, or is it possible to move freely on any terrain.
  • Meanwhile, even more reports of Mark Hamill’s presence (or that of his doppelgänger) are abundant… To circumstantiate this speculation, look at the http://www.starwarsdubrovnik.com/ report on a Michael Kaplan’s design for General Leia Organa’s mourning costume: all in black. Could she also attend Han Solo’s Dubrovnik (or Pinewood and Dubrovnik) funeral?
  • Last but not the least, a green screen is yesterday positioned adjacent to the Onofrio’s Fountain, whose redressed photographs we have already submitted. We’re looking forward to the scene’s ILM augmentation!

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Our friend has offered up a wealth of information and insight into the filming going on. We’re really grateful for all the help! The rumors are clearly rampant in Dubrovnik right now, so don’t get your heart too set on certain aspects like it being this planet or if Lando will show up in the film and so on. But the rumors existing are fun and that’s what we’re in this for, right?
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