With Rogue One: A Star Wars Story now out for four weekends, the conversation is beginning to shift primarily to Star Wars: Episode VIII. The film, topping most "most anticipated" lists for 2017, has the whole year to build up everyone's expectations, and plague fans with questions and speculation, and writer/director Rian Johnson seems to be playing to that right off the bat.
Luke Skywalker and Rey [Insert Family Theory Here] met to close out star Wars: The Force Awakens, with a moment of silent contemplation as she held out a lightsaber that once belonged to him, and his father before him, seemingly asking for him to metaphorically and literally take up the sword again. The two will be focused on significantly in Episode VIII, as USA Today reports, with the movie breaking ranks from every Episode in the saga before it, and picking up directly 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," Rian Johnson told the paper. It's a first for Star Wars as a franchise, and Johnson actually went to Skellig Michael in Ireland to film the first scene in the movie, between Luke and Rey, in fall 2015, before The Force Awakens came out, and months before principal photography began.
Rey and Luke's relationship is "a large part of the movie," Johnson said, with Luke's decision of what to do next now that the First Order is on the rise, his nephew (and former apprentice) has killed his own father, the New Republic has been massively crippled, and a new Force user has risen. That's a lot for Luke to take in. Johnson also promised to reveal why Luke has been on Ahch-To, the alleged home to the first Jedi temple.
Rey's parentage is a major question for fans, but for Rey herself, discovering her connection to the Force is the more immediate issue, he teased.
"Part of what she's dealing with is the realization that she has this power and this gift. She's taking her first step [he said, perhaps referencing Obi-Wan Kenobi's Force-message to Rey during her vision in Force Awakens] to coming to terms with this thing inside her that she never knew was there and is just starting to reveal its potential."
Star Wars: Episode VIII, from writer/director Rian Johnson, is in post-production now for a December 15, 2017 release. The film follows-up and continues the story of the next generation of the saga as Rey, Poe, Finn, and Kylo Ren find their place in the galaxy and follow the legacy of Luke Skywalker, Leia, and Han Solo. Daisy Ridley returns to star as Rey, with other returning stars John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Mayhew, Andy Serkis, Anthony Daniels, Lupita Nyong'o Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern join the cast in as-yet-unrevealed roles.
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