With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story now in its fourth week in theaters, it’s already time to start shifting our attention to the next chapter in the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: Episode VIII, due out next Holiday season.
The Force Awakens was rather cryptic with its explanation of Luke Skywalkers self-imposed exile but the sequel’s director Rian Johnson offered up a few interesting tidbits telling USA Today “a large part of the of the movie” will be spent addressing why Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil) is on Ahch-To — the planet believed to be home to the first Jedi temple — and what he’s going to do next.
The film will also focus on how Luke and Rey (Daisy Ridley) relate to one another. Johnson added:
“Part of what’s she’s dealing with is the realization that she has this power and this gift. She’s taking her first step to coming to terms with this thing inside her that she never knew was there and is just starting to reveal its potential.”
The last we saw Rey she was holding out Luke’s father’s lightsaber as her plea for him to return to the galaxy with her to restore balance to the force shifted into a demand. Rather than jump ahead a few years, Johnson reassured fans Episode VIII will break Star Wars tradition and pick up right where The Force Awakens left off:
“I don’t want to skip ahead two years. I want to see the very next moment of what happens.”
With Episode VIII already in the can, including Carrie Fisher’s scenes, Lucasfilm has begun to look to the future in order to develop a plan to rework the story for Episode IX due to the untimely death of the franchise’s beloved Princess.
Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow will meet this week with Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy to weigh out the options of how to alter the storyline in a way that not only serves the franchise best but also honors the memory of Carrie Fisher.
Insiders told THR that at least two major scenes from the upcoming films will be affected including (spoiler warning) a reunion between Princess Leia and her brother, Luke Skywalker, and a confrontation between Leia and her son, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), over the murder of his father, Leia’s husband, Han Solo (Harrison Ford).
Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters December 15, 2017.
The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran, and Andy Serkis. Written and directed by Rian Johnson.
SOURCE: USA TODAY