While the recently-released production announcement for Star Wars Episode VIII literally picks up right where director J.J. Abram's Star Wars: The Force Awakens left off, it could have been quite a bit different, according to one of the film's producers.
Co-producer Ben Rosenblatt told The Hollywood Reporter that Abrams ultimately opted for the swooping helicopter shot that closed out the final version of the film because it gave the conclusion such scope and scale -- but he had also considered ending on a close-up of Rey, the film's principal Force user.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan & Abrams, features a cast including actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. They will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters December 18, 2015, kicking off a new trilogy of Saga films as Episodes VIII and IX are already scheduled. The film garnered a record $247 million at the domestic box office and $529 million globally in its opening weekend.