Star Wars Bits: First Day Of Episode VIII Filming Canceled, Mark Hamill Denies Reports Of Close Call

In today's edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • Mark Hamill was apparently saved from falling down a mountainside on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • The first day of filing on Star Wars Episode VIII was canceled due to rough seas. 
  • Some photos from the Episode 8 shooting location, including one photo from Mark Hamill's son Nathan.
  • Star Wars saga to get first ever digital release in China.
  • Six major easter eggs in the canon novel Star Wars: Aftermath.
  • Eight new Star Wars LEGO mini movies give clues as to how the Star Wars: The Force Awakens sets fit into the film's storyline.
  • The evolution of the Stormtrooper helmet in one photo.
  • Watch C-3P0 & R2-D2 attend the unveiling of Japan's new Star Wars-themed airplane
  • All that and more. Hit the jump to hyperspeed to get started.”

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens Mark HamillStar Wars Episode VIII is to begin shooting at Skellig Michael and The Daily Mail reports that Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill was saved from falling down a "treacherous mountainside by a quick thinking guide" when he was filming at the location last year for Star Wars: The Force Awakens:

    The 63-year-old is reprising his role as Luke Skywalker in the new films, but would have been a 'goner' had he not been caught by a guide when he slipped on the rocks last year, it was claimed. He was climbing the steps of Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage Site off the coast of County Kerry in Ireland, when he slipped, The Times reported. A witness to his near miss told the paper Hamill would have been a 'goner' had the guide, from the Irish Office of Public Works, not caught him.

    Good thing the Force was with Skywalker that day.

    Update: A day later Mark Hamill denied the report on twitter:

    Star Wars Skellig Michael header

    Meanwhile, it appears the first day of filming of Star Wars VIII did not go as planned. The rough seas around Portmagee and Skellig Michael prevented the film crew's boats from transporting the cast and crew out to the island. The Irish Times reports:

    High winds around Portmagee and Ballinskelligs saw filming of Star Wars: Episode VIII on the Unesco World heritage site of Skelllig Michael cancelled on Monday morning, with the small boats which service the site refusing to go to sea. Locals say the seas were too rough for the boats on Monday morning. Over 100 mm of rain has fallen in Kerry since Friday, leading to the cancellation of two days of Listowel Harvest Festival.

    Looks like production might be back on track now though. The Irish Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has published the following marine advisory: 

    "The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has been advised of filming taking place on Sceilig Mhichíl, (also known as Skellig Michael or Great Skellig Island), Co. Kerry from 5am on Monday 14th September to 7pm on Friday 18 th September 2015.  Vessels are requested to give the island a wide berth during these activities. Vessel masters and skippers are reminded to comply with the requirements of the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea at all times."

    Also, Irish Examiner reports that a crew of "around 100 people and cast members, including Mark Hamill" were expected to be on the boats due to leave Portmagee today at 7:00 am. Hamill's son Nathan Hamill posted a beautiful photo from Skellig on his Instagram account:

    And here are some tweets from Owen O'Shea, a Radio Kerry journalist (found via StarWars7news):


    Disney and Tencent have entered an agreement to give Star Wars saga its first ever digital release in China ahead of the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Tencent signed the exclusive TVOD and SVOD deals for mainland China with Disney and 20th Century Fox which still retains some rights on A New Hope. The Tencent hub will be "the ultimate destination for fans around the country to experience the saga and stay up to date on all things Star Wars." The portal will also host additional content including short films, behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, and a curated collection of classic Star Wars extras from each of the original films. The move is big because the Star Wars brand has not well known in China. The original three films were never released in China and the prequel trilogy grossed a combined $18.7M .

    Stormtrooper helmets

    Star Wars prop collector Leo Berghuis recently took the above photo of all the Stormtrooper helmets in line to show the evolution of this iconic armor.

    Star Wars Minute has compiled a video chronicling the six major easter eggs in the canon novel Star Wars: Aftermath.

    The above video shows C-3P0 and R2-D2 attending the unveiling of Japan's new Star Wars-themed airplane.

    Watch this collection of eight official Star Wars: The Force Awakens LEGO Mini Movies, which might give some clues as to how the sets fit into the film's story