UPDATED: Star Wars: Episode VIII Returning to Shoot Scenes in Ireland
LucasFilm has responded to EW over claims that JJ Abrams would be returning to Skellig Michael, and they have corrected initial reports that JJ Abrams was returning for reshoots. LucasFilm have stated that it is in fact Rian Johnson and his Star Wars: Episode VIII team that are planning on shooting on the remote Skellig Michael island.
UPDATE - 05/12/16 12:34 pm
Heather Humphries, Ireland's Minister for Arts confirmed that JJ Abrams and his team would be returning to the location they shot at last year. The location of a 6th century monastery, the island of Skellig Michael is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and conservationists had been concerned that the return of a LucasFilm team could damage the area's delicately balanced habitats. Humphries confirmed in a statement that a team of ecologists and conservation experts would be accompanying JJ Abrams and his team to ensure no damage is done to the island during the reshoots.
Such reshoots certainly aren't a rare thing for blockbuster movies such as this, but with less than 100 days to go until Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters, this particular session is certainly a little close for comfort. According to EW, smaller scale reshoots have been ongoing since principal photography wrapped earlier this year, and some sources have even claimed that Disney and LucasFilm took advantage of the cast gatherings at D23 in August to reshoot a number of scenes.
As of yet, the trailers haven't revealed any scenes that appear to have been filmed at the island location, but it's grey/green moody backdrop should make for a classic Star Wars set. We're thinking this could be a nice spot for a gathering of the Knights of Ren, but hey, that's just us.