It's weird to be in a cinematic place where a film shooting on, you know, film is news, but here we are in 2015. Film is not exactly dying, although it looked rough for a minute there; rather it seems to be turning into a hip, boutique format, sort of in the way that vinyl has seen a resurgence in recent years. I was just in an Urban Outfitters (don't ask) and there was a whole huge vinyl section. Even Barnes & Noble (remember those?) carries vinyl now.
Anyway, film is still being used, but it's being used rarely enough that it's exciting when it happens. JJ Abrams shot Star Wars: The Force Awakens on film, and it seems that the legacy of celluloid will continue to live in the Star Wars universe as Rian Johnson has tweeted that he'll be shooting his entry, Star Wars Episode VIII, on 35mm film.
@LaRabiaCompany I really wanted to, but for some specific logistical reasons we're sticking with 35.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) June 10, 2015
I hope that film stock becomes the mandate for the films in the central franchise. Star Wars Anthology: Rogue Squadron is being shot with the new Arri Alexa 65, a large format digital camera that is wowing cinematographers, and while I'm okay with the standalone films having a unique digital look, I like the core films to have that film quality. After all, every single Star Wars movie has been shot on film, right? Right? Only film. Never has a Star Wars film been shot digitally, and especially never at a resolution as low as 2K.