star wars, episode viii, episode 8, set photos, rian johnson"Star Wars: Episode VIII" is now halfway through production, and to celebrate that milestone, director Rian Johnson has shared two new set photos with fans.

Though the snaps don't exactly give us any real clues about the plot of the film -- what, did you really expect Disney to sign off on something like that? -- it's still exciting to get even a small glimpse at the behind-the-scenes workings of the "Star Wars" set, and knowing that the flick is already 50 percent completed (from a filming standpoint anyway) is pretty cool, too. As for what the photos do depict, the first appears to be some sort of Rebel-affiliated aircraft (perhaps an X-wing?), while the second shows a scene inside a First Order station.

star wars, episode viii, episode 8, set photos, rian points out that the caption Johnson used for the images is a riff on a scene from "Army of Darkness," the campy third flick in Sam Raimi's original "Evil Dead" series. Could that reference perhaps mean that Johnson's crack at the "Star Wars" franchise will be a bit sillier than his predecessor, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"? We're not inclined to think so, but then again, this is a flick that will reportedly feature a cameo from British royalty, so anything is possible at this point. (Another theory: Johnson's reference could point to the inner anguish of Kylo Ren, who's wrestling with his loyalties to the Dark Side and the Light Side.)

What we do know is this: "Episode VIII" features returning "Force Awakens" stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong'o, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher, along with a new villain played by Benicio del Toro. The flick hits theaters on December 15, 2017.

[via: Rian Johnson, h/t]

Photo credit: Rian Johnson